Sunday, April 20, 2014 Nisan 20, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
"Curtains" up, up -- and away with a helium-light comedy that is as loving a laughing gas as exists to fill a Broadway theater with a good case of the giddies all season. It's all a bit of a welcomed March Madness of a musical: One of the final four shows penned by John Kander and Fred Ebb before the...
A Jewish James Bond with the odd job of tracking Nazis for a living? Odds were, after all, that a nonagenarian would have no problems spending his cache of memories on vacuous vacations to regale his relatives, soft tales from a kind zayda repeated to his kinder. But these were trips -- albeit down a memory lane potholed with the...
Kate Feiffer's fine new film adds a hint
Ever take a look down the long seder table at the grumpy grandpa of a patriarch and think, "Boy, that's one bitter Herb!" Maybe it's because someone slipped an Easter egg into his egg matzah or, after years of fruitlessly awaiting the arrival of Elijah -- whining over how much Manischewitz they've wasted all that time -- he's discovered the...
Jonathan Brody -- Broadway baby? Well, more Baby Boomer: The Englewood, N.J., native son recalls watching as an audience member the number "I Can Do That" from "A Chorus Line" and thinking, "I can do that." Indeed, he did; and it did a number on him: Years later, Brody performed the song and dance delight in the first summer-stock production...
"Raines" drops into the midseason TV schedule like a warm welcome spring storm -- with a wallop. An offbeat, possibly off-his-rocker rollicking detective with a built-in audience of one, Michael Raines speaks to actor Jeff Goldblum in a meaningful way. That is, when he's not talking to himself. Because, you see, Raines is his own sounding board, even if it...


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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