Stories by Marc Vitali

Meet the Athletic Artists Behind Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Luzia’

(Photo: Matt Beard © 2017 Cirque du Soleil)

The French Canadian circus rolled into town this week, and Chicago Tonight got a backstage pass to meet the performers.

Hedy Weiss Reviews an Eclectic Mix of Summer Shows

The national tour of “An American in Paris” visits Chicago starting next week. Hedy Weiss joins us with a preview of that Tony Award-winning production. 

Celebrating 30 Years of Art at a Chicago Museum Without Borders

Contemporary art with Mexican roots: Celebrating 30 years at Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art.

How a Controversial Chicago Astronomer Influenced ‘Close Encounters’

Dr. J. Allen Hynek was a highly respected scientist for decades before he received a credit as a technical adviser on Steven Spielberg’s 1977 movie. His life and legacy are explored in a new biography.

Restoration of Unity Temple Revives Glory of Wright’s ‘Little Jewel Box’

One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s finest public buildings is ready for the public again. We take a look inside the restoration of Unity Temple.

The Spectacular Art World of Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami (Maria Ponce Berre, © MCA Chicago)

The MCA celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new exhibition by a colorful contemporary artist.

Lipizzan Horses Trained in Dressage a Noble Mix of Athlete, Artist

On a horse farm north of Chicago, a European tradition combines artistry and athletic prowess. We meet some of the star athletes–and the ponies that will someday take their place.

Chicago Band Local H Opens for Metallica

Local H (John Oakes)

In April, veteran Chicago band Local H was announced as the winner of Metallica’s “Hit the Stage” contest. Now they’re adjusting to playing stadium shows. We speak with one of the founders of the band.

Vocal Heroes: Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 Share the Stage

Alan Paul, left, and Claude McKnight (Chicago Tonight)

Alan Paul and Claude McKnight join us in discussion.

Michael McDonald Talks Solo Career, Collaboration

The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter talks about his solo career and his work with the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan.

‘Shakespeare in Love’ Bridges Gap from Film to Stage

(Credit: HMS Media and Chicago Shakespeare)

It’s not often that an Oscar winner for best picture gets translated to the stage. “Shakespeare in Love” is getting its U.S. premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. 

Historian’s New Book Explores ‘The American Spirit’

Pulitzer Prize-winner David McCullough has been called the “elder statesman of American history” and the “rememberer-in-chief.” He joins us to discuss his new book.

‘Aladdin’ National Tour Begins Magic Carpet Ride in Chicago

Chicago actor Jonathan Weir rehearses for the role of Jafar in “Aladdin.” (Justin Barbin / Broadway in Chicago)

A conversation with actors Anthony Murphy and Chicago’s own Jonathan Weir from the production “Aladdin.”

The Surprising Story Behind ‘Whistler’s Mother’

James McNeill Whistler. “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist's Mother),” 1871. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, RF 699. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.

We visit the Art Institute of Chicago to find out more about the 19th century oil painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black, Number One” – commonly known as “Whistler’s Mother.” 

Graphic Artist Returns to Chicago to Inspire Next Generation

Craig Rex Perry grew up in Englewood and has studied and worked around the world. We catch up with him in Kenwood during a master class on cartooning – and careers.

‘Shakespeare in Love’ Bridges Gap from Film to Stage

(Credit: HMS Media and Chicago Shakespeare)

It’s not often that an Oscar winner for best picture gets translated to the stage. “Shakespeare in Love” is getting its U.S. premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. 

The Gift of ‘Seinfeld’ That Just Won’t Quit

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Local author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong on the cultural impact of the TV show “Seinfeld.”

Celebrating 30 Years of Art at a Chicago Museum Without Borders

Contemporary art with Mexican roots: Celebrating 30 years at Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art.

Photographer Sabine Weiss, 92, ‘Very Pleased’ With Life’s Work

(© Sabine Weiss / Courtesy Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago)

Chicago Tonight meets a celebrated photographer who captured the human condition with her camera.

‘My Fair Lady’ Brings Lerner and Loewe to Lyric Opera

Lisa O’Hare and Richard Grant (Courtesy of Lyric Opera)

From “Downton Abbey” to “My Fair Lady,” a conversation with the stars of Lyric Opera’s spring musical.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer on ‘Heaviest’ Photo He Ever Made

(Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago Tribune just won its first Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. We talk with Jason Wambsgans, who was awarded the prize.

Tracy Letts Talks New Play ‘Linda Vista’ at Steppenwolf

The Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning artist talks about his new adult comedy on stage at Steppenwolf, Chicago’s theater scene and more.

Photographer Sabine Weiss, 92, ‘Very Pleased’ With Life’s Work

(© Sabine Weiss / Courtesy Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago)

Chicago Tonight meets a celebrated photographer who captured the human condition with her camera.

Pinball Meets Paschke in ‘Kings and Queens’ Exhibition

From the exhibition “Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago.” (James Prinz / Elmhurst Art Museum)

Pinball machines and Ed Paschke paintings go side by side as a suburban museum becomes an artful arcade.

Exploring ‘The Great War’ on PBS

Rob Rapley

Meet one of the filmmakers behind a new “American Experience” series about the United States’ entry into World War I.