Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Tishri 7, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Israelis trumpet their own jazz-jive in a major Philly festival
And all that -- Israeli jazz? Forget that bowler hat, Bob Fosse -- make it a kipah! The land of milk and honey and, as it turns out, trumpets and horns is about to blow any blowhards out of the sand dunes who think that the trill of it all has nothing to do with the Holy Land: Indeed, any...
Marc Erlbaum keeps Tinseltown attuned to tikkun olam
Marc Erlbaum seems just the kind of guy you'd want to hang out with over a cup of coffee -- which makes the premiere of "Cafe," set in the caffeinated grounds of West Philadelphia, an appropriate choice to perk up a conversation on the eve of its premiere at the Philadelphia Film Festival on Oct. 16.
Israeli filmmaker offers a coda to story of Warsaw ghetto
Brad Lidge may be Charlie Manuel's Rolaids of a reliever, but when history had some unfinished business to attend to, it was Yael Hersonski who got the call for the save.
Talk about your boardwalk empires: Atlantic City native son Norman Twain has built a business brimming with what some other Hollywood/Broadway producers may consider product as prohibitive as Prohibition: socially relevant films and plays.
Playwright's 'Driving Miss Daisy' a GPS of the heart
Silver flasks seem appropriate accoutrements for those sipping a taste of the southern comfort that is "Driving Miss Daisy" as it approaches its silver anniversary. The South will rise again -- but for the first time on Broadway -- with playwright Alfred Uhry once again in the driver's seat. This time -- 22 years after taking home the Pulitzer Prize...


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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