Friday, September 19, 2014 Elul 24, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
It was the best of times, it was the ... Wait, wait, wait: It is the best of times for Aaron Lazar, whose tale of two cities spans the Jersey Turnpike from Cherry Hill, N.J., to New York, N.Y., with a cherished cherry on top -- Broadway -- where the acclaimed actor is starring as Charles Darnay in a swashbuckling...
Emmy is crazy about them -- and the series creator who adds a touch of class to a classic time in advertising history
Who knew Phil Gramm was such a fan of "Mad Men"? How else to explain the former senator's recent rant that we've become a "nation of Weiners" (albeit, the press incorrectly spelled it "whiners.") Matthew Weiner gets the compliment; the press is mad about this "Mad Men" man, creator of one of the millennium's most retro yet forward-thinking successes as...
Mother of all musicals, 'Gypsy' brings out the talent in Rachel Abrams
Ya gotta have a gimmick ... and what better gimmick than a Jewish Mazeppa? It's not every young Jewish woman who has trumpets heralding her every hip sway and sashay on stage. But then, Rachel Abrams has more than a gimmick as her trump card in a horn-stuffed bra; she's got talent. As the stripper with a zipper of a...
Peace and Harmony. Early on, they didn't exactly go together like a horse and carriage. No, in those hectic less-than-halcyon days, Harmony Korine's vehicle of choice took him on rides of fantasia, down drug-induced and potholed paths of bumps and bizarre behavior, leading the 22-year-old skiddoo/skidding "Kids" screenwriter much room to grow up in -- if he ever would. Married...
'Juno' songwriter knows quality is key to life
Why was this night different from all other nights? Because, unquestionably, Barry Louis Polisar had never been associated with an Oscar contender before. But there he was, the author of the modern-day Haggadah, Telling the Story -- and it's quite a story he has to tell -- and, in front of him, on a sensational Sunday night, screened before millions,...


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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