Thursday, July 10, 2014 Tammuz 12, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Brooklyn dodger? Nah, this guy welcomes the old hometown with open arms, fielding questions about the old neighborhood from audiences in what may be off-Broadway's only bilingual production. Yiddish is spoken here; so is pinching the cheeks. And the guy on stage is the ultimate pinch-hitter. Some actors enjoy ripping up their roots; he'd rather water them. Why not? It's...
The provenance of pain and paintings looted by the Nazis has provided a compelling canvas for creative artists exploring the topic of Jews scarred by jagged justice since the war. One of the most intriguing of the explorers joining the investigation is also using the small screen to make big, albeit subtle, statements. Number "Numb3rs," CBS' sophisticated Friday-night crime drama,...
Some serious issues are fielded for those switching on 'Friday Night Lights'
Are ya ready for some Shabbat football? Well, it is called "Friday Night Lights." But if the lights of this ever-so-shining NBC series aren't candlesticks, it still sticks out as one of the season's best. Not that tales of pigskin would ever complete a forward pass for acceptance in halachah. But there are elements of the Tuesday-night series of a...
It doesn't take an Einstein to come up with a hit like "Build Me Up, Buttercup." Or does it? It took this Einstein: Tony Macaulay, the evergreen song's ever-popular composer, wasn't always a Macaulay. "No, actually, I took that name out of the phone book. I was born an Einstein, and my family name, Instone, was an Anglicization of Einstein."...
Is 'Jericho' a national anthem to man's inhumanity to man? Two local guys may have the answer
CBS is relying not on vicissitudes, but the vision and vitality of two daring dudes from Melrose Park for victory this season. Is the world coming to an end? Exactly the question for a new series that takes its existential exigencies seriously. And that series may -- or may not be -- the presumptive first strike the network is making...


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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