Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Tishri 28, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
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So damned by genocide, Sudan is a desert of hope, forlorn and forgotten for so long. Until now, that is: Darfur, the sand-bitten beachhead of benign neglect by the world, is getting its moment in the sun these days. And "Darfur Now," a new documentary written and directed by Theodore Braun, lets the sunshine in as never before. Opening on...
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What -- nothing to watch on TV? All you're seeing are reruns and a happy fellow in a red suit? And something about a strike? You've come to the right contest! "On the Scene" is offering a contest so bubbly, it may make your nose turn red. And for Chanukah -- eight DVD prizes! · "Brothers & Sisters: The Complete...
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There may not be much joy in Mudville these days, as the Yankees, the mighty Yankees, have struck out. But there's plenty of joy at "The Joy Luck Club" of the Pan Asian Rep, in Yankeeland, where they've struck gold in muddied family relationships. In adapting Amy Tan's 1989 best seller into a box-office draw -- the play has been...
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There is a yawning divide between good and great musicals, but "The Drowsy Chaperone" needs no one to accompany it to the winner's table; it can go it alone as a great one. The five-time Tony Award-winning musical -- in which "Man in Chair" sets the table for a grand retelling of a 1928 musical called "The Drowsy Chaperone" --...
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Israeli cafe becomes grounds for explosive drama
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Sometimes, even a casual coffee break in Israel can be shattering, with a cafe grounds for high drama. Shards of lives accompany cream and the caffeine in "Dai," a detonation of a drama by Iris Bahr, which literally translates from the Hebrew into "enough," but empirically into "to die for." A double dose of sugar in that death wish? Sweet...
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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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