Sunday, July 13, 2014 Tammuz 15, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
ON THE SCENE Where it counts the most -- in life, on stage -- Billy Crystal may well be the Jewish Count Basie of jazz comedy. He's got the music in him, playing the stage as inner instrument for its soul sounds and insights, with riffs and rolls that reflect the hands of an artist and airy ambitions of an...
He's a real no-impact man, livin' in a landfill land ... Indeed, the reel "No Impact Man" is no-prints charming, leaving behind little proof of his consuming existence. For author Colin Beavan, writer/wife Michelle and their 2-year-old daughter Isabella, 2006 was a year of living dangerously -- or at least ergonomically -- as the three Timothy Learys as naturalists tuned...
The mystery behind the mystery woman on new reality series
"Get real!" may be the mantra of network television these days, but one series is proving that reality can be seemingly as fractiously fictive as any flight of fantasy dreamed up by a programming exec. "My Antonio" may as well be "Mamma Mia!" as the mystery woman behind star Antonio Sabato Jr.'s current VH1 10-episode reality series -- in which...
And no wonder: Producer David Elzer may just be duke of the juke-box musical
When Mike, the character in "A Chorus Line," first saw dancers go through their paces in auditions, he confidently stepped up to the challenge with "I can do that." When David Elzer read the script of the shoo-be-do-bop musical "The Marvelous Wonderettes," he marveled and sha-boomed: "I can sell that." Both got their wishes. These days, it's also anniversary wishes...
Jerry Springer feels right at home playing in and with the Broadway musical of razzle-dazzle mazel
It's not the same old song and ... dunce. Song: Sartorially splendid Jerry Springer spills onto the stage looking very much the dapper dynamo that he's proven to be, assaying the role of the roguish bilious Billy Flynn, in "Chicago," shortly after marking his Broadway debut in the role and now beginning a short run Sept. 15 at the Academy...


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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