Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Tammuz 24, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Alan Zweibel's never Short on imagination
The one man to see for one-man shows is Alan Zweibel. The go-to guy of "Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me" and "Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays" doesn't have his name in the shows' titles, but those shows wouldn't have earned their titles as high-tone hits without his epigrammatic if not eponymous contributions. The back story of this guy who prefers to...
Can we ... kvell? Sure, Joan Rivers, go right ahead; after all, there's much to kvell about! "I'll be doing the Keswick [in Glenside] on Oct. 28, then there's my special on Bravo, that's Oct. 24, then I'll be in Atlantic City Oct. 20 and 21 ... " Will the airlines allow such a weighty schedule as carry-on? And carry...
Who knew that hiring a "Domestic Import" would trigger a pistol-packin' game of Russian roulette that would fill every chamber of the house with émigrés out of a production of "Dr. Zhivago?" From Russia with ... laughs? It is now for Cherry Hill, N.J.'s Andrea Malamut. But it was no laughing matter way back when the ad executive faced a...
Tori Spelling? Try Michael spelling! Okay, Michael Zahler, the soft-spoken star of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," may not be in the same tabloid -- or ZIP code -- class as the "Beverly Hills 90210" star. But his role as Leaf Coneybear -- who bears the weight of seemingly getting the hardest words to spell on stage at...
Jeffrey Tambor tamps time into more than a pipe dream in new comedy
"Four score and seven years ago" goes the Gettysburg Address. Forget the seven years; four score is what John Mason (John Lithgow) and Jeffrey Pyne (Jeffrey Tambor) address these days. And since they've already handled the first three, it's the next "20 Good Years" that interest them the most. And they also interest NBC, which offers one for the ages...


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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