Stories by Marc Vitali

‘Too Hot to Handel’: Jazz-Gospel ‘Messiah’ Reaches into State Prisons

Classical music gets a soulful twist in a show that reaches from Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre to a notorious prison in Louisiana.

Inside the Studio of an Italian Sculptor Who Made His Name in Chicago

Virginio Ferrari (Chicago Tonight)

Born in Italy, Virginio Ferrari came to Chicago in the 1960s, and he blossomed into an internationally sought-after sculptor. We visit the 80-year-old in his Bridgeport studio.

New Play Looks at Life of Trailblazing African-American Actor

Actor Dion Johnstone portrays Ira Aldridge in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Red Velvet.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Exploring the connection between a controversial painting at the Art Institute and the new play “Red Velvet” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Jeannie Tanner’s ‘Words and Music’ Shines Light on Other Jazz Artists

Jazz can bring to mind a dark nightclub after hours with a lot of booze, but we met a group of Chicago jazz musicians on a sunny summer morning – and they were fueled only by coffee and cake.

Kerry James Marshall Unveils Monumental Mural in the Loop

A new mural at the Chicago Cultural Center honors 20 women, past and present, who contributed to the cultural life of the city. “Chicago Tonight” was on site throughout the creation of the work, the largest to date by Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall.

David Broza on Building Bridges with Musical Artistry

He has been called “The Bruce Springsteen of Israel.” But unlike the Boss, David Broza can sing in four languages and plays a mean flamenco guitar. David Broza joins us in conversation and performance.

Holiday Theater in Chicago: Alternative Picks from Hedy Weiss

Steppenwolf ensemble member Sally Murphy (Ms. Matz) in Tracy Letts’ new play “The Minutes.”

Hedy Weiss reviews alternative holiday shows on Chicago stages—with not a “Nutcracker” or “Christmas Carol” in sight.

The Life and Landmarks of Chicago’s John Vinci

The re-created Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room at the Art Institute of Chicago.

A new illustrated biography takes a close look at the life of the Chicago architect, preservationist and restorer of architectural masterpieces.

New Museum Showcases Massive Collection of Stained Glass, Rare Clocks

Historic clocks from around the world and brilliant stained glass windows fill a new museum in Evanston. We go for a look.

100 Nativity Scenes Highlight Variety of Interpretations

Creche of the Year -- Poland (Courtesy Loyola University Museum of Art)

From ostrich eggs to walnut shells: We explore a collection of unusual and traditional Nativity sets from around the world.

New Play Looks at Life of Trailblazing African-American Actor

Actor Dion Johnstone portrays Ira Aldridge in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Red Velvet.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Exploring the connection between a controversial painting at the Art Institute and the new play “Red Velvet” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

‘Hunting Charlie’ Seeks to Find the Elusive Enemy in the War in Vietnam

Propaganda and political cartoons show different perspectives of Vietnam at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

Rare Holiday Crèche on Display at Art Institute of Chicago

The Christmas season is the only time to see a rare Nativity scene that blends both spiritual and earthly pursuits. We go for a look.

Kerry James Marshall Unveils Monumental Mural in the Loop

A new mural at the Chicago Cultural Center honors 20 women, past and present, who contributed to the cultural life of the city. “Chicago Tonight” was on site throughout the creation of the work, the largest to date by Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall.

Cautionary Tales of City Life by Chicago Painter Bill Walker

A new exhibition looks at rare works of art that are powerful—and sometimes graphic. The historic work was made by an artist with a strong connection to Chicago public art.

‘All The Queen’s Horses’ Tells the Story of Rita Crundwell

A city treasurer with a love of horses managed to embezzle nearly $54 million from a small town of just 16,000 people. The new documentary “All The Queen’s Horses” looks at the case of Rita Crundwell.

Emerging Rap Artist Taylor Bennett on Chicago Roots

Taylor Bennett talks about his rising rap career, and the inevitable comparisons with his brother, Chance the Rapper.

Wheaton Military Museum Expands Historic Mission

Marching through 100 years of military history in the recently expanded First Division Museum at Cantigny Park.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Exhibit Offers Behind-the-Scenes Peek at TV Show

(Credit: Premier Exhibitions)

At the Museum of Broadcast Communications, a new exhibition looks at a television phenomenon with strong ties to Chicago.

Fall Theater Highlights from Hedy Weiss: Goodman, Black Ensemble, More

Michael Perez (Sam) and Laura Crotte (Sara) in “Yasmina’s Necklace” at Goodman Theatre. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Chicago Sun-Times theater and dance critic Hedy Weiss shares her recommendations from Porchlight Music Theatre, Lookingglass, Goodman, Black Ensemble Theater and BoHo Theatre.

Chicago Tribune Unearths Forgotten Aerial Footage of Chicago in 1914

The White City airship. (Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago Tribune published a report Monday on the “rediscovery” of a long-forgotten 35 mm film in the National Archives. The story behind the incredible aerial footage of Chicago shot in August 1914.

Pianist Ludovico Einaudi on His ‘Elegy for the Arctic’

Ludovico Einaudi (Credit: Ray Tarantino)

Meet the Italian composer and pianist who traveled to the Arctic Ocean to make music—and make a point.

New Museum Showcases Massive Collection of Stained Glass, Rare Clocks

Historic clocks from around the world and brilliant stained glass windows fill a new museum in Evanston. We go for a look.

Hebru Brantley’s New Art Show Takes Flight in Elmhurst

His artwork is in the collections of George Lucas, Jay-Z and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. We get a preview of the show “Hebru Brantley: Forced Field” at the Elmhurst Art Museum.

Chicago’s MacArthur Fellows on Joining the ‘Genius’ Club

Rami Nashashibi

Two of the 24 professionals named 2017 MacArthur Foundation fellows are from Chicago. We speak with Dawoud Bey and Rami Nashashibi.

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Stories by Marc Vitali | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

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