Friday, July 25, 2014 Tammuz 27, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
They were Logan's 1950s version of "The Braided Bunch." A knot of Jewish bakeries that caused clogged traffic along 11th Street in one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city was where those in the know knew that, OK, man could not live by bread alone -- but if he had to, this was the place to go. Bar and...
Does it take a brave heart or just foolhardiness to attempt an acting comeback in a movie that Eddie Haskell would love? Mel Gibson is about to find out; the bedeviled and besmirched actor of blue-eyed beauty and green-eyed hatred has taken to the screen in "The Beaver," portraying a diminished depressive damned by the world and divested of hope...
Philly's Avi Wisnia is hot to trot for the Brazilian beat
Blame it on the bossa nova, sure, but doesn't klezmer share some responsibility? And how about liturgy? Where does that come in? It all comes together in explaining the wistful soundtrack of Avi Wisnia's life, where the son of a regional rabbi bounded over the bimah to explore the outside pull of a musical postmodern world. And the son returns,...
Is it really surprising that Cantor David F. Tilman of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, long known for his lilt of a lyric baritone, once had a tryout at the New York Met? Yet he wasn't performing alongside Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and that other tenor; more like Ron Swoboda, Ed Kranepool and "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry. "I played right...
Why is this interview different from others? Because Brian L. Roberts, the Philly-born chairman and CEO of media giant Comcast Corp., rarely does interviews. But in the spirit of this post-Passover period, Roberts, 51, who will accept the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's 2011 Ambassador for Humanity Award at a gala in Philadelphia on May 9, agreed to answer four questions...


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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