Stories by Marc Vitali

Two Paintings Bookend the Civil War

A Rising Sun and a Setting Sun Illuminated the War

An exhibition explores the visual culture of the Northern home front during the Civil War.

Haunting "Lover" Seduces On Stage

Memory Play Recalls a Taboo Love Affair

Lookingglass Theater opened their 26th season on Saturday with the deeply sensual drama, The North China Lover.

Janis Joplin Rocks Ravinia, Part 2 - Buried Alive

"She was pouring out her soul"

Part 2 of our story about Janis Joplin's final show in the Chicago area -- at Ravinia, two months to the day before she died.

Janis Joplin's Ravinia Jam, Part 1

The Queen of Cosmic Blues Visits Highland Park

Forty three years ago, the blues-rock star rocked Ravinia festival. Eight weeks later, Janis Joplin was gone forever.

Beethoven...Beautifully

A High Priestess of the Piano and Her Early Start on WTTW

A concert pianist of the highest order, Inna Faliks can be as dramatic or as subtle as a great stage actor.

A Mansion of Marvels, Teeming with Tiffany

Dazzling Artwork + Spectacular Setting = Harmony

Rare Tiffany masterworks are on display in a lavish Chicago home of the late 19th century.

A Memorable Day at the Beach

A massive art project is already gone but not so easily forgotten.

Vivid Vivian Maier: The One Who Got Away

The celebrated work of nanny-turned-photographer Vivian Maier remains on view at the Chicago History Museum and opens next week at the Union League Club.

Just a Regular Guy Named Bunky Echo-Hawk

Playful painter, serious warrior: meet Bunky Echo-Hawk.

Dance Skin

A Very Different Pair of Dancers

Looking back at a couple of influential dancers, and looking ahead to a weekend dance concert.

Janis Interrupted

Still gathering stories on Janis Joplin's final Chicago-area performance...

Clapton Plays Skokie - Part Two

More Insight into Eric Clapton's 1969 Visit to Skokie

Another look at a truly unusual performance by Eric Clapton -- with additional photos.

The "Block" Stops the Clock

A Museum Takes the Time to Secure Its Collection

Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art will be closed for the remainder of the calendar year.

Towering Willis

A blues and soul singer to shake up your expectations. Read the Artbeat blog.

Finding the “Wright” Book

Frank Lloyd Wright designed houses, churches and museums, but the great Prairie architect also designed a book or two. The most significant was called The House Beautiful. Only 90 copies of The House Beautiful were printed, and fewer than 30 are accounted for. Read the Artbeat blog.

A Chicago Songbook of Stories

What are some of the finest story songs by Chicago songwriters? Read the Artbeat blog.

A Guitar God Comes to Skokie

Did Eric Clapton perform in a Skokie parking lot in 1969?

1969 was a pivotal point in Eric Clapton's career. Cream had broken up the previous year, and the 24-year-old Clapton was now part of the super-group Blind Faith, which would dissolve within months. But not before Clapton did a surprise show in Skokie, Illinois.

A Bloody Good Painting

Mark your calendars for October 17 to witness a painting that is as gruesome as it is great.

Beating a Drum for the Arts

Welcome to Artbeat, Chicago Tonight’s blog on arts & culture. It’s a privilege to be the curator and share my enthusiasms, but this is a two-way street: help me out, and I’ll return the favor.

Web Extra: Little, Big Theater

Newer suburban theaters may attract more critical attention, but if slow-and-steady wins the race, The Theatre of Western Springs (TWS), established in 1929, slaughters the competition. This year, they celebrate their 85th season and 500th production with a solid staging of Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut's mordant tale of a World War 2 veteran "unstuck in time."

Friends & Colleagues Remember Bernie Sahlins

Bernie Sahlins died at the age of 90 this past weekend. We talk with the close friends and colleagues of The Second City legend about the man who helped shape American comedy. Watch a 2004 interview with Sahlins from our archives.