Friday, July 11, 2014 Tammuz 13, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Howie Mandel has his game face on. His head, too. The former curly-haired king of hi-jinks has in years past gone straight to the chrome-dome look, which gleams nicely on his game show "Deal or No Deal," now ensconced in its second season on NBC. Thanks for the deal, Mandel says of his good luck just a day before turkeys...
Satire, it is said, closes on Saturday night. Not this Shabbat. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" make good box office, too, as time and again, weekend, weakened from laughing, this "anti-Semitic" screed screams solid soiled sheets with audiences who go for the film that scats scatological. Who knew that the Running of the...
Nothing, according to a local author
New beginnings for the Dead End Kids? Leonard Getz thinks so, and the local CPA seems to have their number. Getz' geshrei of a salute to the group, From Broadway to the Bowery: A History and Filmography of the Dead End Kids, Little Tough Guys, East Side Kids and Bowery Boys Films, With Cast Biographies, casts light on the brooding...
Arbus in Wonderland? In a way, Steven Shainberg's dreamscape of a movie about daring photographer Diane Arbus mirrors her own work, a phantasmagoria of photo finishes and bizarre beginnings that wax and wane with an "Alice in Wonderland" aura of wonderment. His film of "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus," her demi-biography -- he concedes it's not wholly about...
DeBris, meet de Brad. The two are familiar enough; after all, Brad Nacht's turn as Roger DeBris in "The Producers" is musical theater at its most cutting. As the flamboyant and fey director who shimmies as he shakes up anyone's conceit of good taste, DeBris is delight on his feet -- and his brain doesn't weigh three pounds either. He...


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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