Stories by Taurean Small

Hedy Weiss: Theater Reviews

Chicago Sun-Times Theater Critic Hedy Weiss reviews plays currently on Chicago area stages. Watch web extra video reviews.

"My Florence: Photographs by Art Shay"

The dean of Chicago photojournalists, Art Shay, shares pictures of his beloved wife Florence, who died in 2012 after 67 years of marriage. We revisit a preview of the exhibit, My Florence: Photographs by Art Shay. Read an interview with Ann Nathan, a gallery owner who currently represents Shay.

Weekend Events Around Town: 3/14 - 3/16

A organic food festival, Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade and a benefit party; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

FamilyFarmed.org

Demand for locally produced, organic foods has never been stronger. We talk with a Chicagoan who is seen as a leader of the so-called Good Food Movement: Jim Slama, the founder and president of FamilyFarmed.org. Read an interview with The Organic Gardener founder, Jeanne Nolan, and take a QUIZ to test your knowledge on USDA organic regulations.

Weekend Events Around Town: 3/7 - 3/9

A celebrity dance competition, a mural painting event and health expo; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

Weekend Events Around Town: 2/28 - 3/2

A polar plunge, a tour of Chicago's theater district, and a zombie maze game; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

PTSD Service Dog

Vietnam veteran Lon Hodge struggled for years with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder until he got a PTSD service dog named Gander. Lon says that Gander has saved his life. Now, Lon and Gander help other vets and work to raise awareness about PTSD, veteran suicide and service dogs. Jay Shefsky has a profile. Read an interview with Fran Menley, Service Dog Trainer at Freedom Service Dogs of America, about how they rescue, train and pair dogs with veterans and people with disabilities.

Social Media's Role in Fueling Chicago Gang Wars

Is social media fueling Chicago gang wars? We take a closer look at the phenomena with Ben Austen, a journalist who took an in-depth look at how Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram -- among many others on the world wide web --- have contributed to escalating tensions and street violence in Chicago. Read an interview with former gang leader and community activist Hal Baskin.

Matthew Polenzani

From North Shore native to international opera star, tenor Matthew Polenzani joins us to talk about growing up in Chicago and his stellar career. And he shows us why he's one of the most sought-after operatic performers.

Cook County Issues Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Gay couples can now tie the knot in Chicago’s Cook County. Read an interview with Cook County Clerk David Orr and watch a web extra video interview with Charlie Gurion and David Wilk, the first gay couple to get a marriage license today.

Weekend Events Around the Town: 2/21 - 2/23

A musical, a historical exhibit and a dance camp; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

"Rethinking the War on Drugs"

Has the War on Drugs failed? Diane Wood, the Chief Judge of U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, will discuss the topic at the "Rethinking the War on Drugs" Symposium on Feb. 20-21 in Chicago. She joins us to talk about the issue. Read an interview with another participant in the event, Angela Caputo of The Chicago Reporter.

Gary Griffin

One of the world’s foremost interpreters of Stephen Sondheim’s work joins us to talk about his latest projects. Director Gary Griffin details his unprecedented plans to stage two musicals at Chicago Shakespeare Theater – Gypsy and Road Show. Read an interview with the theater's creative producer.

"My Florence: Photographs by Art Shay"

The dean of Chicago photojournalists, Art Shay, shares pictures of his beloved wife Florence, who died in 2012 after 67 years of marriage. We get a preview of the exhibit, My Florence: Photographs by Art Shay. Read an interview with Ann Nathan, a gallery owner who currently represents Shay.

Weekend Events Around the Town: 2/7 - 2/9

A classic opera, a charity art show and unique crafts market; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

Nathan Gunn

Nathan Gunn is an international opera star who lives in downstate Illinois. He joins us for a performance and discussion of his role in The Barber of Seville, currently at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Watch a web extra performance and read an interview with Jeffrey Magee, Director of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Music, about Gunn's impact on the college's music program.

Weekend Events Around Town: 1/31 - 2/2

A classic blues play, a famous house tour and a wine tasting; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

Hedy Weiss: Theater Reviews

Chicago Sun-Times Theater Critic Hedy Weiss joins us to discuss local shows currently on stage. Watch web extra video reviews.

Web Extra: Update on Winter Swimmer

Back in 2012, we met two men – Greg Lane and Andre DeMar – who regularly swam in Lake Michigan, including during frigid Chicago winters. We spoke with Andre DeMar today to find out if he still swims in the frigid waters. It turns out he does. In fact, he swam in Lake Michigan this morning as the outside temperatures hovered around -2 degrees – without windchill. Read an interview.

Weekend Events Around Town: 1/24 -1/26

A scavenger hunt, restaurant tour and winter activities; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

Web Extra: New Charter Schools vs. Old Neighborhood Schools

The Chicago School Board approved seven new charter schools for the city. Where are they located in comparison with the neighborhood schools that were closed down? View a map of charter vs. neighborhood schools.

Lee Bey

Lee Bey is one of Chicago's keenest observers of architecture and urban planning. This month, he is shutting down his WBEZ blog, "Beyond the Boat Tour" after four years. He is leaving to join the team at the University of Chicago's Arts Incubator in Washington Park. Bey joins us to discuss his new gig, the one he's leaving, and life in Chicago. Read an interview.

Weekend Events Around Town: 1/17 -1/19

A baseball convention, a zombie film festival and a meet and greet with Jon Heder; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.

Web Extra: Fermilab Tour

We take a tour of the MINOS underground facility and watch the installation of the last NOvA Far Detector module. Read a behind-the-scenes blog and view a slideshow.

Weekend Events Around the Town: 1/10 -1/12

A country concert, a famous house tour and a circus festival; Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on this weekend.