Monday, December 5, 2016 Kislev 5, 5777

Michael Elkin

Broadcast pioneer Frank Ford made a name for himself -- literally. He was known to his parents and childhood buddies on the streets of Logan as Eddie Felbin, but he changed his moniker to echo the name of his radio talk-show's food-chain sponsor. In reality, Ford's voice was never limited to the airwaves. Feisty and forever outspoken, his actions often...
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Miscreants in men's rooms? Conned by Congress? Dow going down, down, down? Elaina Newport steps right into it. As a founding member and saucy strutter in the Capitol Steps -- which takes skittish Washington apart in skits that skewer the skunks -- Newport and her merry marauders see politics as unusual, and usually turn Washington on its pointed head. It's...
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Sherri Mandell
It is not a consolation prize, but the consolance price that readers and theater-goers can take with them when viewing the searing stage adaptation of Sherri Mandell's The Blessing of a Broken Heart: While Mandell suffered the ultimate mother's tragedy -- the loss of her son -- she did not, fortunately, suffer a loss of words. And it is those...
Performer mines the criminal mind off-Broadway
Meyer Lansky could eat Kuni Leml for lunch and have enough room left over for a pastrami on rye with a dab of mustard. Lucky for Mike Burstyn that his body of work embodies both the sinister and the simpleton, as the winner of two Israeli Oscar equivalents for "Kuni Leml" is kindling the fired-up mobster Lansky on stage these...


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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