Thursday, September 18, 2014 Elul 23, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Israel's Leeshai Lemish hosts a Chinese event at the Academy; will Kobe Bryant show up?
Is celebrating the New Year old (party) hat for Leeshai Lemish? Chinese New Year? Firecracker fun, acknowledges Lemish. A special rush in honoring Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur? Absolutely! But don't put away the dragon drama or ram's horn just yet; now it's time for the American version. Just who knew Lemish's auld lang signs would be printed in Chinese, Hebrew and...
Season's greetings took on a somewhat sour note when I heard a certain salutation amid the jingle bells and paper horns touting a happy new year. "Where's my husband? He's at the store, trying to Jew down the owner for a better price." I happened to be in the lovely resort of Aruba, sifting through children's clothing along with my...
Rock 'n' roll? Rock 'n' pastry! "Always!" chuckles Duff Goldman, the "Ace of Cakes" who deals off the top deck of carts with swaggering and sassy confections, which infuse his chef rock status, and as a bass player in the band "soihad to." Did he? Indeed. "I love rock music," he says. And pieces of cake? Piece of cake! If...
Hugh Panaro's pointed portrayal earns acclaim, new insights at Walnut
That was the decision -- sensitive, without a sniff of a second thought -- that has helped make Fagin of Oliver Twist fame not such a fearful figure raising the ante of anti-Semitism in the new production of "Oliver!" -- the book-based musical now at the Walnut Street Theatre. "When I was offered the role, I sat down with [director]...
'Jewtopia' tops off a howl of a holiday greeting card
Does "The World of Jewtopia" tilt from right to left? Well, it does have its own weird, wobbly spin -- thanks to First Citizens of the "World," Sam Wolfson and Bryan Fogel. Now the two stand-out stand-up comics/playwrights/actors are egg-nogging on fans to attend the Philadelphia premiere and pre-Broadway run of "World" at the Kimmel Center downtown. Latkes roasting on...


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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