Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Tammuz 25, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Robert Benton's 'Feast' is truly bountiful
Love is a many-splintered thing. Picking up the pieces with near picture-perfect poignancy is Robert Benton, the Oscar-winning director who has a special place in his heart for the foibles and fears that show love doesn't so much make the world go round as it makes it wobbly, with a wonderful panache that wields its own weapons of mass distraction...
NBC may have yet another one in the flesh this season
Hollywood Must "ESP" TV? Maybe. But can NBC increase its viewership by having an Israeli mentalist turning the remote on to its network without viewers even having to bother? Ben Silverman laughs at the very thought. Think of a number from 1 to 10 -- better yet, make it an audience share of 15. But then, as a primed prime-time...
Not for those who know the talented 'Jersey Boy' Jarrod Spector
When it comes to Jersey peaches primed for the picking, no one's plucked a juicier part than Jarrod Spector, this Jewish kid from Meadowbrook, a musical mensch in the monster hit "Jersey Boys" with the plum role all his own. At his Bar Mitzvah, he learned to walk like a man. Now, at 26, he's taken the next step: He's...
Lisa Landry's laundry list of life's checkpoints is awash in the fab and funny. But then, her humor isn't so much drip-dry as it is wet and wild. But the tide has changed a bit in recent years. In the currency of comedy, she's well aware of the conversion rate of exchange. Indeed, she's exchanged Christian roots for rooting for...
The ZIP code for "51 Birch Street" may as well end in 007; such is the mystery and intrigue unraveled in this compelling film of romance and regret by Doug Block of a marriage more mixed than stirred. It is a Block party done in "Street" theater style, with a roving camera delivering a riveting framed picture of a family...


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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