Thursday, July 10, 2014 Tammuz 12, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
"Lawrence of Arabia"? Avitan of Judaica! It's so much more than a sand thing; indeed, this sabra Spielberg wannabe knows all too well the do's and dunes of making it in the film business. Correction. "No, I admire Steven Spielberg; he's a genius. I am not a genius. I want to do good films, but I only hope to be...
Plastic -- don't leave home without it! Joan Rivers' credit card of a mantra? To her credit, the comely comedian whose caustic wit is as scalpel-scary as the surgery she's undergone, is, at 76 trombones of a career and years, very much an up-and-comer. C'mon, you're saying? In the neck and neck -- nip 'n' tuck -- face off at...
Anna Paquin is a standout on screen portraying Irena Sendler
Sendler's list? It was a massive mission on which Holocaust heroine Irena Sendler sent herself; the Polish Catholic social worker provided salve for the social insecurity inflicted on so many Jews during the war as they witnessed neighbors disappearing one Star of David at a time during dimming prospects of daily survival. Through subterfuge and substantial cunning, Sendler's saintly salvation...
Black and blue and ... white: The bruised and bedraggled road from Ethiopia to Israel was one colored with anxiety, fear and history. And the spectrum of that special journey is all covered in hues of hope in "Live and Become," a spectacular 2005 Israeli movie -- just out on DVD -- which will receive a special screening Thursday evening,...
It could have been Jews and gentiles meeting at a Hillel mixer at Passover -- and wouldn't Tony and Maria have looked out of place ...
"Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night ... " Of course, it's not just any night, Tony; it's Passover. Pass the matzah! And that raises more than four questions concerning the riveting revival of "West Side Story," a story unto itself playing the Palace Theatre on Broadway. Taking in more than a million a week at the box office, could...


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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