Monday, July 28, 2014 Av 1, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Jeff Daniels is a man of God. Make that two Gods. There is the one whose messages he delivers as "The Answer Man," in the romantic comedy opening July 24; then there is the one he answers to in the Tony Award-winning "God of Carnage" on Broadway. In both, it's a comic bloodbath. While "Carnage" is a ticket to die...
Hilarity as a healer? It couldn't hurt!
You bring the marshmallows; Brad Trackman will bring the roast. A comedy camp for kids? Take my teens -- please! But that's exactly what Trackman -- a national headlining comedian with many cable and late-night TV appearances to his case of credits -- is attempting to do: Taking teens whose big battles may be with acne and awkwardness, and changing...
What about sex? Sex is good. You betcha, and no better time than the present. But what if that's not what was actually said, and what was really asked was "how about dinner at 6? Six is good." That's some big matzah ball hanging out there, "Seinfeld." But for Marlee Matlin, "sex/six" was comedy at its most organic, if not...
It's in his solar system: Saul Rubinek has made an art out of science fiction, with Artie Nielsen his latest twilight-zoned-out success story of a character. The just-turned-61 actor whose star trek has led him to sterling appearances in "The Outer Limits" revival; SyFy Channel's "Stargate SG-1" and "Eureka"; and, of course "Star Trek: The Next Generation" ("The Most Toys")...
In the almost comically contentious Minnesota election between Norm Coleman and Al Franken for a seat in the U.S. Senate, is it any wonder that the joker won? Grayer and filled with gravitas now, Franken spun an intellectual-style comedy out of his Jewish Minnesota roots, where, as he told the Jewish Exponent's On the Scene while still a writer/performer for...


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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