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Stories by Marc Vitali

Let It Beatles

You Don’t Have to be a Baby Boomer to Love The Beatles

Forgive me, but I don’t remember The Beatles arriving in America 50 years ago or their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

A Hollywood Alternative

Movie Posters Reveal a Parallel History of American Filmmaking

An upcoming art exhibition promises to be a fascinating look at film history and African-American history.

Fred Rogers, Artist (and Superhero)

The Beloved PBS host was a Master of Music with Powers of Persuasion

Fred Rogers was a friend to every child -- he was also an artist and a brave citizen.

Big Country in the Big City

Find out why Nashville’s loss is Chicago’s gain

One of the finest singer-songwriters of country music is based in the Chicago area.

Stocking Full of Fond Memories

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Here is a list of the most memorable art I saw and heard this year. From opera in a swimming pool to barn-blazing bluegrass and forgotten artists, 2013 was a very good year for enthusiams old and new.

Peaceful, Uneasy Feeling

Sunshine and Shadows Co-Exist on New Record from One-time Chicago Songwriter

Cass McCombs returns to Chicago on Friday, December 6 to play The Empty Bottle on Western Avenue.

Pencil Him In

Finding a Creative Voice at the Swap O Rama

Besides the main arteries of museums and galleries, the Chicago area has endless capillaries of creativity.

Theater of Desire and Doom

Stage Spectacle Balances Hilarity and Emotions

Once or twice a year, a show is so breathtaking that it must be seen a second time. And you really have to see it in the theater -- once it closes, it’s gone. DVDs or on-demand cannot capture the live experience of sitting in the dark, bonding with the strangers onstage you seem to know so well. Read the Artbeat blog.

Bo Knows More Than Diddley

Rock Pioneer AND Aspiring Advice Columnist?

Yes, he was a legendary songwriter and storyteller, but recent evidence shows Bo Diddley could have had a second career as an advice columnist if he wanted.

Hungry for Art

Art Institute Curator Digests One of Her Favorite Paintings

The curator of Art and Appetite dishes on one of her favorite pop art pieces in the show, Tom Wesselman's "Four Roses."

The Modern Wing is Currently Clipped

Attention Art Institute Attendees: Annex Abridged until April

Visitors to the Art Institute hoping to see Picasso and Matisse masterworks in the Modern Wing must wait until spring. That’s when the third floor galleries of European modern art reopen.

Children’s Author or Dirty Old Man?

Meet the Graphic Artist Who Paid the Price for Being Too “Graphic”

The Three Robbers is a children’s book to cherish. The story revolves around fierce bandits who threaten violence and kidnap a little girl. But that’s OK with her – she doesn’t want to live with her wicked aunt anyway.

Ship Shape

Spellbinding Seascapes with Sunken Ships

A Chicago painter pays tribute to ships lost at sea.

Exuberant “Rascals” Return to the Spotlight

Long Dormant ‘60s Band Erupts On Stage

You get the distinct feeling that this is a band that a) wants to make up for lost time and b) has something to prove. They accomplish both in the feel-good show of the season.

The Art of the Terrorist

Field Museum Exhibition Looks at Nazi Propaganda

It’s profane to even call it “art.” Art usually inspires a viewer to think deeply. But this art wasn’t about inspiring -- it was about conspiring.

Get off the Couch and Go to SOFA

“Sculpture Objects Functional Art” = Lots of Cool Stuff

SOFA CHICAGO is the exceptional art fair devoted to design, and this year marks its 20th anniversary. It fills Festival Hall at Navy Pier through Sunday.

A British Knight's Chicago Sculpture

Late Sculptor Has Prominent Work in Chicago

English sculptor Sir Anthony Caro died last week at the age of 89. This was big news in the art world, where his abstract works created a new language for the medium. In Chicago, it wasn't news.

Pool of Talent

A Theatrical Approach to Opera Performed on a Liquid Stage

One of the more daring highlights of the fall arts season promises to be Chicago Opera Theater’s staging of the mythical romance “Orpheus and Eurydice.”

Buon Giordano!

Sensational Jazz Dance Served with a Side of Chicago History

Giordano Dance Chicago promises something extraordinary when Escape Ordinary opens their fall season at The Harris Theater at Millennium Park this weekend.

The Ghost with the Most

Spooky and Spellbinding, "The Woman in Black" Haunts the Western Suburbs

An ideal play for the Halloween season, The Woman in Black relies on Gothic ghosts instead of gore.

When “The Who” Played Kane County – Part 2

On the Verge of Greatness, The Who Played St. Charles, IL

Bring the Binoculars

You Might Need a Visual Aid for this Art Show to Come Into Focus

Binoculars are for sightseeing or the cheap seats at the opera house, but an exhibition at the Elmhurst Art Museum would be even more pleasurable with a pair of field glasses.

When "The Who" Played Kane County - Part 1

On the Verge of Greatness, The Who Played St. Charles, IL

An eyewitness account: "They were loud and raucous. It was musical mayhem, but it was life-changing."

"Somm" Kind of Wonderful

New DVD Pairs Perfectly with Every Meal

A delicious documentary with notes of humor and suspense, Somm follows four men preparing for the annual test before the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Hemingway's Hamburger Helper

The Old Man and the Seasonings

Ernest Hemingway wrote lean prose but liked his burgers fatty and flavorful. With the new season of Check, Please! in mind, here's a historic recipe from a literary carnivore.