Thursday, July 24, 2014 Tammuz 26, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
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...
Puff, the magic drama? Comedy is more like it. And "Thank You for Smoking" is … s-m-okin! A nicotine fit of laughs, the new comedy, opening on Friday, March 24, lights up screens with a satire so sparking hot that it should come with a warning from the surgeon's general's office: Laugh at your own risk. And that's just what...
How best to describe Idina Menzel's relatively brief appearance in "Ask the Dust" but to call it … bewitching? The Tony Award-winning star of "Wicked" has left her wicked wiles behind, but not the torment of what it means to be an outsider. Outside of Broadway, she's become a hot property, too, in Hollywood, the locus of this "Day of...
Puss 'n Boots? As long as those boots are Manolo Blahnik. It's all the shoe business you never saw in "Cats": Philadelphia native Kenny Finkle's "Indoor/Outdoor" offers yet another look at a day in the nine lives of the feline phenomenon that has clawed its way into America's id, where cat people are scarier than anything Paul Schrader could have...
If it ain't "Brokeback," don't fix it … Just give in, Hollywood seems to be saying. Indeed, everywhere you go - movies, TV, billboards, Western suburbs - there seem to be two cowguys alternately hugging and pushing each other away. Attention, John Wayne: These pilgrims have arrived on a different ship. Sure, "Brokeback Mountain" breaks taboos, but is it 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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