Sunday, September 21, 2014 Elul 26, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Filmmaker enhances body of work with 'Two Lovers'
Ménage à treif? Torn between "Two Lovers" -- one Jewish, the other not -- the kashrut-keeping Leonard Kraditor asks, as he limps along in life, "Can't we all get along?" But the emotionally beaten down dry-cleaner drone isn't the Rodney King of the kosher set in this new James Gray gray zone of a film opening on Friday. King? Leonard...
'International' monetary concerns hit home -- and a Cheltenham native pictures it all
What could be more frightening than the mortgage meltdown than banks betting the house on murder and terrorism? "The International" intrigues and instructs; who knew that opening a cache account at the local bank would bring with it an offer of Uzis instead of toasters? "The International" bread is buttered on both sides; as a thriller and a tutorial in...
And this book-based film may make the most headlines come Oscar night
The boy in the striped pajamas has taken them off. Much of the writings about "The Reader" -- the Oscar-nominated, Holocaust-oriented film that turns a page on the past -- has focused on the explicit nude scenes between Hanna (Kate Winslet) and Michael (David Kross), to whom the German transportation worker gives transporting tutorials in sex prefaced by his reading...
A transgenerational drama of a Jewish family with an Asian cast on board
Trains of thought carry Karen Hartman's heartfelt haikus of drama to people of all stations of life. And now, a production of an award-winning work from 2000 has arrived on time and on message in a world-premiere production in 2009. Traveling "Leah's Train" ... switching tracks, crossing cultures and picking up an Occidental tourist along the way has proved a...
Up-and-coming, rock-'n'-rolling Erik Janson has discovered that "Morning in Paradise" is followed by afternoons in nirvana. After a terrific reception for his album of folk-rock that folk in all genres took to, the young and ruggedly handsome singer/ composer has found "Morning in Paradise" is the music of the night played by hundreds of stations nationwide. Now, his sound has...


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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