Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Nisan 16, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
This pizza man delivers with a domino effect: Within 10 minutes of Sal Buonacotti bounding into the room, everything falls into place in Woody Allen's "Honeymoon Hotel," part of the trio of comedies that is Relatively Speaking, now on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
So, Bela Fleck, when you throw down your heart, does it always come up with a banjo riff? "Absolutely," says the legendary picker and pick of the Grammy Award committee innumerable times for his musical musings -- including the 2011 Best Contemporary World Music Album, "Throw Down Your Heart, Africa Sessions, Part 2: Unreleased Tracks." Indeed, the instrument releases an...
So, you're 13, your Bar Mitzvah is next month -- do you know what your favorite present would be? "Oh, that would be an iPhone," says Jacob Zelonsky. How about his theatrical alter ego, Michael, whom he portrays in the tour of Broadway's 10 Tony Award-winning musical, Billy Elliot? "Oh, he'd want a tutu." He pauses. "Maybe a pink boa."...
Erik Nelson is capping his company's troika of Holocaust-related films with Engineering Evil, conducted in claustrophobic and transfixing detail of how Nazis went about their daily destruction of bashing the lives of their Jewish victims.
Would Michael Scott ever take his Office out for a halvah break? Not in Scranton. But quite possibly in Tel Aviv, where an Israeli version has wowed local audiences since last year. Shot in the shaky-camera style originated for the BBC program -- created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, subsequently adapted for the American version by Greg Daniels --...


Michael Elkin has worked as the Exponent Arts & Entertainment and Features editors for some 40 years.

He has won some 40 national and regional writing awards over his career as well as three fellowships in playwriting and screenwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

His arts articles — including working as a jazz critic for the Evening and Sunday Bulletin; book reviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer; and rock reviewer/TV writer for the Camden Courier-Post  — and op-eds have appeared throughout North America; his plays have been staged internationally, including runs in Romania — one play running for  five years —  Israel, Germany, Los Angeles and, locally, the Walnut Street Theatre and People's Light and Theatre Company. He is a  Tony Award voter and is a member of a national new play selection committee handing out an annual award to an  up-and-coming playwright.

He worked as a mentor with the Philadelphia Young Playwrights' outreach program to area high schools and at one point headed up the playwriting program at the Walnut Street Theatre School.  His play "Cries in the Night" was cited in the book "The Best Plays of 1992-93," in the "New Plays From Around the Country" category. His travel articles have appeared nationally and he has worked as a travel editor for Fodor's Travel Guides.

As a screenwriter, he  was asked by filmmaker John Frankenheimer ("Birdman of Alcatraz," "The Manchurian Candidate"), with whom he then worked,  to write a script for Frankenheimer to direct.

He has moderated and taken part in national conferences both here and in New York on topics ranging from hip-hop/rap to theater to comedy and has served as a board member of film and theater arts groups.

Elkin has appeared on area TV and radio shows and served as arts critic for the cable program "Our Town." He has been cited in reference books for his investigative work on TV as an influential social medium. For his expertise in film and theater, Elkin was asked to — and did — serve as on-screen interviewer of actor Richard Dreyfuss in a documentary about the American Music Theater Festival, with which Dreyfuss was involved.

A graduate of Temple University — he also studied screenwriting at New York University and attended the University of Houston Bates School of Law — Elkin was honored to be Temple's commencement speaker in the mid-90s. He also taught journalism at Temple as well as screenwriting at La Salle University.



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