Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Tishri 28, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
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The truth hurts, sure, but lying has its own paean. Just ask Jon Lovitz, whose "Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar" lies as the foundation for a career which is true grit in action. "Here I was, no income, and suddenly I'm making a great living" as a member of "Saturday Night Live" (1985 to 1990), where his lively renditions of...
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Is it an odious omen that an edgy comedian's phone number ends in the less-than-holy trinity of 666? Do we have reason to be frightened of Marc Maron? What, me worry? Are you mad? his taken-aback demeanor suggests. He's paid his dues, says Maron; he also claims to have paid to get that special number. "If you can't rely on...
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From "Fiddler on the Roof" to "Up on the Roof," there doesn't seem to be a glass ceiling that could hold Kate Ferber from reaching the top. If they build it ... Well, actually they had, and who knew it was in Merion Station? That's where local writer Louis Greenstein saw her perform in "Fiddler" at Adath Israel Congregation. Chava,...
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Marvin Hamlisch -- composer, pianist extraordinaire? He can do that!
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Chestnuts roasting on an open-fire? Anything but: Nothing dated at this Dec. 26 concert, a save-the-date, circle-the-calendar event for classic standards from the "The Great American Songbook," fired-up by a pair of personable and protean performing pianists. Singular sensation? Double-up on the chorus line of hosannas as composer Marvin Hamlisch and crooner Michael Feinstein do a duo-piano engagement at Verizon...
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"A Jew Grows in Brooklyn," sure, but who knew his roots extended to Philly? "Philly has special meaning for me," acknowledges Jake Ehrenreich, whose one-man show of a thousand memories takes up residence at the Perelman Theater of the Kimmel Center from Dec. 23 to Dec. 28. "It's the first show I did, here in Philadelphia, in 2008, after my...
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Profile

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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