Thursday, October 2, 2014 Tishri 8, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
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If this had been part of the just-concluded presidential campaign, John McCain would have referred to it as ... "that one." Call it what you will, but the Other Israel Film Festival -- reflecting a love for Israeli cinema that almost dares not speak its name -- is otherwise engaged these days. With its focus on the Arab citizens of...
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And funny, as Jackie Mason, the 'Ultimate Jew,' votes with jabs and japes
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Pull a lever, pull our leg: In the electoral college that is comedy, Jackie Mason is in no undecided state: He's McShuganah over McCain. Well, maybe not McShuganah, maybe he's overwhelmed about him, well, maybe not exactly overwhelmed, maybe a little happy ... But make no mistake: His stump speech is no ode to Obama. The erstwhile rabbi, whose congregation...
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The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival is playing the video version of "I've Got a Secret." But don't look for Garry Moore as its star or the guests to be some innocuous-looking seniors whose part-time jobs are dismantling bombs. Instead, it's Da Bomb: "The Secrets," part of the film-fest's opening weekend, is one of Israel's more-explosive films of the past decade,...
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It's all a matter of rock 'n' reel: Music and movies have been merry Meir Fenigstein's MO for so long, is it any wonder his life sounds like a movie musical? Funny you should say that, he says, savoring the irony that the script he wrote long ago about his years as a member of Poogy -- Israel's No. 1...
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A violinist with cosmic grace notes goes on the record
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Lili Haydn has strings attached to community and to her musical muse: The acclaimed violinist veers from sad to snappy on her latest CD, "Place Between Places," infused with insight, and an insatiable and intuitive yearning for finding that corner of the world that is hers. Certainly, there have been a few: Daughter of the late, luminous comic Lotus Weinstock...
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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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