Friday, September 19, 2014 Elul 24, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Can't we all get along? A look at current headlines emanating from the Mideast may provide a pragmatic bomb blast of an answer to that seemingly innocent question. But, as anyone knows, this is not the age of innocence. Which makes French director Philippe Faucon's fine-laced embroidery on the topic -- "Dans La Vie" ("Two Ladies") -- a welcome respite...
And now he has his son in on the gag of a gig
Is Clarabell staging a comeback? Buffalo Bob Smith going beyond the fringe and shelling out smiles for a new Peanut Gallery? "I don't know who that is," says manic Howie Mandel, host of "Howie Do It," debuting Jan. 9, at 8 p.m., on NBC. With a show like "Howie Do It" ... C'mon, Howie, are you punking me? Wouldn't be...
Who better to wish a happy-so-what's-nu-year than Jackie ... oy? The woman who challenges audiences to kvetch her when they can has had a career that's careened from clubs to Broadway and back. And, now, Hoffman, whose Silly Putty features put her in the class act of first-rate frenetic physical comics, has put it all on the record: The award-winning...
Or is it a Cruise? Actor/producer successfully takes on the risky business of history
Tom, you had me at "Heil." Show me the Nazis, demands Tom Cruise, controlling the careening caper that is "Valkyrie," portraying Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, the stealthy German soldier, whose assassination plot against Hitler hit some snags, in the film opening in theaters on Dec. 25. The actual plot, coded "Valkyrie," may have plotzed, but Cruise creates a character as...
Stephen Daldry turns the page on war-torn dramas
Your weakly "Reader"? There is nothing weak-willed about Stephen Daldry's strong-spirited and powerfully propelling adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's best-selling novel The Reader, whose reading of the Holocaust is a riveting reminder that not all its stories have been bookended by biographers and Hollywood on one of its bathetic benders. Indeed, this is no banal bedtime story -- albeit much of...


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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