Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Tammuz 25, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
When you're a JAP, you're a JAP all the way … "West Side Story"? Upper East Side Story! But wait - before the p.c. police are called out, Isabel Rose rises to its defense. "It's okay," says the singer/actress/writer of the tasteless tag given Jewish women who consider "charge!" cards a call to the mall. "This is about dashing stereotypes,"...
Now that the matzah police have turned in their unleavened badges of bread for another year, and bitter Herb has gone back to being just an annoying neighbor again, Jews can take a seat at the table and ask the burning bush of a question: What's to eat? Bubbie, have we got the series for you! Must-nosh TV? That's the...
The Stuckman seder is the last supper you'd want to be invited to. If you thought the Da Vinci code was a puzzler, da Stuckmans' is no better, as this inscrutable screwball family tries to decipher the holiday's meaning while its Passover passes off as a scene from "Sex and the Seder." "When Do We Eat?" is just one of...
Not all "American Idols" can sing their way to glory; some are glorious in their ability to carry not a tune, but a sense of self and history. Meet Miles and Chris Lerman - which you can do on Sunday, April 23, as a film about their triumphs of the past is screened at Plays & Players in Center City,...
The "V" is more than "Vendetta": It stands for victory at the box office. And that's familiar turf for its star, whose "Star Wars" history and Oscar nod for "Closer" has her closing in on Hollywood superstardom. Natalie Portman, whose professional career was aced in her early starring role in "The Professional," professes an affinity for her role in the...


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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