Stories by Marc Vitali

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.

Meet the Rising Chicago Bluesman Who Drives a CTA Bus for a Living

Toronzo Cannon

Toronzo Cannon is just your typical CTA bus driver who moonlights as a sought-after Chicago blues musician. As a guitarist, singer and songwriter, he drives the sound of Chicago blues from the city to blues clubs and festivals around the world.

Singer Dionne Warwick Looks Back Over Celebrated 50-Year Career

Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick stops by to reminisce about a WTTW "Soundstage" recording from 1980 – and what it's like to see an actress portray her on stage.

'Races of Mankind' Sculptures Tell New Stories Following Restoration

Art and science intersect at an historic – and controversial – look at race. Tour the exhibition "Looking at Ourselves: Rethinking the Sculptures of Malvina Hoffman."

Surrealists Aim to Unleash Your Imagination at MCA

Ken Warneke, The Tyranny of Everyday Life, 1990. (Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art)

Surrealism is the focus of a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art. We'll get a tour of the weird and the wonderful.

‘Strandbeest’ Sculptures of Theo Jansen Fuse Art With Engineering

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

It is a harmonious union of art and engineering, imagination and reality. Dutch artist Theo Jansen is a kind of Dr. Frankenstein, giving life to inanimate objects. His massive creations arrived this month at the Chicago Cultural Center, and “Chicago Tonight” spoke with the artist on the eve of his first exhibition in the city.