Thursday, December 25, 2014 Tevet 3, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
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Is there a tone for his sins? Sardonic ... disputatious ... dismissive. Just don't expect it to sound like Kol Nidre. Cole Porter, maybe: After all, Bill Maher has always been bewitched, bothered and bewildered by the role religion has played roiling the unholy waters of society. But to make a feature-length documentary about it? Don't be ... "Religulous." Oh,...
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Farewell, Toby -- or is it, Shalom, Toby!
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Got Staples? Yeah, we got that. Makes sense; after all, how can ya run "The Office" without staples? Never thought of that, muses Paul Lieberstein, a graduate of Staples High School in Westport, Conn., who portrays the hit NBC series' outgoing human resources staple, Toby Flenderson -- the brooding bobblehead of benign neglect who deals with all the dunderheads of...
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Who better to birth an organic play than a chemist -- especially one whose key co-creation of the Pill put many an expectant family in a celebratory state of birth daze? Carl Djerassi is not dazzled by being center stage; he may, after all, have invented it. And the chemist who concocted the Catholic Church's worst churn of a nightmare...
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Iliza Shlesinger wins over audiences -- and an NBC title -- on her way to Glenside
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The Lone Star State ain't in such a lonely state anymore: It has a new amiga to keep it amused these days in Dallas maverick Iliza Shlesinger, whose shoot-from-the-hip delivery landed the Texan-on-a-tear terror the "Last Comic Standing" championship on NBC. Giddy-up: The industry's latest punch line podner is eastward ho these days, in heady terrain as headliner of the...
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She loves you ... yadda, yadda, yadda. Okay, it's "yeah, yeah, yeah," but, yes, haven't we heard all this cover band banter before? Not like you're about to hear it now, contends Brit Robert Butters, whose bread and butter is bringing "She Loves You!" to adoring audiences worldwide in a tribute of a treat for Beatles fans. Let him take...
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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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