Stories by Marc Vitali

‘FEAST’ Serves Up Chicago’s Diverse Food Culture, Cooking Traditions

Albany Park Theater Project presents "FEAST"

A critically acclaimed stage production by Albany Park Theater Project makes its television debut on WTTW Thursday night.

Chicago Painter’s Artwork Began in Suburban Kitchen, Ended Up in Museums

Jeanette Pasin Sloan, Crazy II. (Courtesy Jeanette Pasin Sloan)

A Chicago artist makes photo-realistic paintings you have to see to believe. We take a look at the artist’s self-taught beginnings in her suburban kitchen and how her hard work paid off. 

The Radical Beauty of Photographer Aaron Siskind at the Art Institute

Left: Aaron Siskind. Gloucester 16 1944, 1944. (The Art Institute of Chicago, The Mary and Leigh Block). Right: Aaron Siskind. Jerome 21 1949, 1949. (The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Aaron Siskind)

From New York to Chicago, the influential photographer and teacher focused on “the drama of objects.”

Broadway Star Kate Baldwin on Chicago Roots, ‘The King and I’

15 Things You Might Not Know About ‘The King and I’

Kate Baldwin and Paolo Montalban in 'The King and I' (Courtesy of the Lyric Opera)

The star of "The King and I," now on stage at the Lyric Opera, talks about her Evanston roots and performs songs from the production.

Master of Painting Brings Art from Bronzeville to the World

“Past Times,” 1997. (Courtesy of the MCA)

From his studio in Bronzeville, Kerry James Marshall creates large-scale canvases that are prized in museums around the world. A 1997 winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant, Marshall spoke with “Chicago Tonight” at the opening of his career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Lyric’s ‘King and I’: A Sumptuous, Crowd-Pleasing Clash of Cultures

Lyric Opera of Chicago's "The King and I" (Todd Rosenberg)

Epic yet intimate Rodgers and Hammerstein revival earns an opening night standing ovation at the Civic Opera House.

Virtuoso Photo-Realist Painter Returns to Chicago

Jeanette Pasin Sloan, Teapot Small. (Courtesy Jeanette Pasin Sloan)

Meet the onetime stay-at-home mom who painted everyday kitchen objects before emerging as a sought-after artist.

Free Event at DuSable Museum, Concert Promote Diversity in Modern Music

Roundtable talk Thursday afternoon, weekend performance focus on efforts to bring new voices to new music

Internationally renowned composer and percussionist Kahil El’Zabar, who has played alongside Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, joins a discussion about inclusion among modern composers of color. On Friday, he performs with Fulcrum Point New Music Project.

RIP Lonnie Mack

Early rock hero and influential guitarist died Thursday

The red-hot guitar player with a soulful voice recorded for Chicago’s Alligator Records, played on one of The Doors greatest hits – and once shot a computer that didn’t agree with him.

Music Icon Prince Dies at 57

At a birthday party at First Avenue in Minneapolis on June 7, 1984. (Courtesy Paul Natkin)

The sudden loss of Prince has the world talking. We hear from the Chicago photographer who took iconic pictures of Prince before he was a superstar.

CTA Bus Driver Moonlights as Chicago Bluesman

As a guitarist, singer and songwriter, Toronzo Cannon drives the sound of Chicago blues from the city to blues clubs and festivals around the world.

Exhibit Provides Insight into Bedroom, Life of Van Gogh

(Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

We take a peek inside the mind – and bedroom – of Vincent Van Gogh in an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago that runs through May 10.

Inside the World of Theo Jansen’s ‘Strandbeest’ Dream Machines

Animaris Currens Ventosa, Oostvoorne, Netherlands (1993). Courtesy of Theo Jansen. (Adriaan Kok)

Meet the Dutch artist and engineer who makes giant beach animals out of plastic tubing as we revisit his exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center – a harmonious union of art and engineering, imagination and reality that's open through May 1.

‘Making’ a Photograph: The Conceptual Work of Kenneth Josephson

New York State, 1970, Kenneth Josephson

Acclaimed Midwestern photographer Kenneth Josephson has created innovative pictures of Chicago from the 1950s until the 21st century. We take a look at the man behind the lens and his conceptual photography.

‘The Interview Show’ at the Hideout Makes Television Debut

| Rebecca Palmore

We get perspective on the business of interviewing from Mark Bazer, host of "The Interview Show," which airs Friday nights on WTTW starting this week.

Hershey Felder Sings Praises of Legendary Songwriter Irving Berlin

14 Things You Might Not Know About Irving Berlin

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin. (Courtesy of Eighty-Eight Entertainment)

“Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” returns to Chicago’s Royal George Theatre this week. Pianist and actor Hershey Felder joins us in conversation and performance to demonstrate the timeless appeal of the great American songwriter. 

Chicago Painter Robert Guinan Dead at 82

Chicago Painter Earned His Reputation in Europe

Robert Guinan

Paintings of Chicago by Robert Guinan, who died Saturday, are sought after in Europe and have been exhibited in Rome, Vienna and Paris.

Hedy Weiss Reviews: 'United Flight 232,' 'Arcadia,' More

Rudy Galvan (left to right), James Doherty and Johnny Arena perform in “United Flight 232.”(Michael Brosilow)

Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss appraises the first performance staged in the recently opened Writers Theatre and the humorous one-man show, “Where Did We Sit on the Bus?” Get her take on these plays and others on currently on stage in Chicago. 

Sen. Mark Kirk Meets with Supreme Court Nominee

Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland meets with Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, despite the GOP leadership's refusal to meet with an Obama nominee. We speak with WBEZ's Tony Arnold on the implications of this first courtesy call to a Republican senator.

Museum of Contemporary Photography Exhibit Captures Changing Medium

(Museum of Contemporary Photography)

In the Loop, a photographic feast is now being served. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Museum of Contemporary Photography combed its archives to find the pictures that best reflect the character of the museum. What they found were dramatic images from the 19th century to the 21st.

Paintings Illustrate Chicagoan’s Memories of Cuban Revolution

Paintings by George Klauba.

In 1958 a Navy sailor from Chicago was briefly onshore in Cuba while the revolution was underway. The sailor, named George Klauba, became first a tattoo artist and then a painter. For years now, he has focused his artistic energy on remembering a moment in history and putting his dreamlike impressions on canvas.

Exhibit Offers Glimpse into Bedroom, Mind of Van Gogh

(Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

We take a peek inside the mind – and bedroom – of Vincent Van Gogh in the latest exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Restored Art Installation Invites Reflection on Consequences of War

A prominent work of art has been out of the public eye for almost five years. Titled “Above and Beyond,” the installation commemorates American soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War, and it's now back on display at the Harold Washington Library.