Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Av 20, 5776

Michael Elkin

They are related on stage, but unrelated off, playing a Tzeitel and Chava who share different 'shtetls'
Tzeitel and shtetl -- perfect together? On the one hand, the role of eldest daughter has done pretty well by a number of actresses -- Bette Midler, Sharon Lawrence -- in the 46 years since the original of "Fiddler on the Roof" first scratched out its timeless tune. On the other hand ... there is no other hand. And Rita...
Rebecca Naomi Jones jolts Green Day's rock opera
"Whatsername" is making a name for herself. Even as her character is relegated to the nameless, faceless fast crowd strung out on struggles, Rebecca Naomi Jones has the jones for what she is doing -- and what she does is spark "American Idiot" into the stellar stage of brilliant rock opera for which even "Tommy" would have left his pinball...
Daymond John doesn't have a tiger in his tank ... more like a shark
He brandishes the concept of branding like an Excalibur of excellence, unsheathing an unbelievable track record in business that has had competition kneeling, caught in a benighted comparison. King Arthur of the artful advertiser? This is one business behemoth you want around any table: advising, admonishing, suggesting -- winning. Daymond John's résumé resumes with a powerful announcement after a lull...
Idan Raichel Project to bring fusion to Sunday's 62nd birthday party
The Ashkenazi Lawrence Welk? Don't mean to burst your bubble, Idan Raichel, but how could such a cool kid commit to an accordion to start his iconoclastic climb up rock's rocky highway? "It helped keep my eyes and ears open to sounds all over the world," says the now 32-year-old sabra from Kfar Saba, so far away from those early...
Composer Charles Strouse Gershman Y's wise choice for honor
Forget Doppler1000, forget AccuWeather. Hibernate this, Puxatawney Phil: Charles Strouse is the most successful weather forecaster of all time. After all, the man who wrote "Grey skies are going to clear up," and "The sun will come out tomorrow" has been right 100 percent of the time. Take that, Weather Channel, and stick it where the sun ... well, where...


Michael Elkin worked for the Jewish Exponent for over 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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