Wednesday, November 26, 2014 Kislev 4, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
TV epic channels the history of 'Jewish Americans'
Funny, they don't look Jewish. Why, just because they're seamstresses, janitors, doctors, butchers, garbage people, scientists, crooks, movie stars, mathematicians, dentists, salespeople, authors, swindlers, saviors, your tired, your hungry, your poor ... They're all that; they are, indeed "The Jewish Americans." And now they are also the focus of an epic epistle -- a TV love letter with some bittersweet...
Producer unearths an A&E hit fit for the 'Paranormal'
It's Penn State and "Paranormal State" in the Bizarre Bowl. Load up on the carbs and corpses; this one looks like sudden death. What it is, actually, is a gripping, chilling ghost story that would have the Nittany Lion turning tail. But these tales are for real: "Paranormal State," "starring" the Paranormal Research Society of Penn State, is reality TV...
"Puttin' on the ... Lids"? Who better to traverse the labs of Broadway and off-Broadway -- between new monster hit "Young Frankenstein" and its fashionable number of "Puttin' on the Ritz," and "Stomp," the long-running trash-can concerto -- than a man who discovered their alchemy as a youngster in the audience of "The Magic Show." The abracadabra hasn't ended for...
Artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel bursts through physical confines of a 'Diving Bell'
The term "stroke of luck" could not have taken on a more odious oxymoronic meaning than it did for French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, at 43, in 1995, was dealt an unfashionable fillip by life -- a freakish stroke that left him painfully paralyzed, with the exception of his left eye. And for a man who always had an...
Chazz Palminteri at the intersection of bravery and bluster, in the 'Bronx'
Chazz Palminteri gives Damon Runyan a run for his money in "A Bronx Tale," a wonderful one-man show of a million mugs so tough it took a stagehands' strike to stop Broadway shows in terms they could understand -- in this case, the stagehands had only to give them the finger. Okay, it was all 10 of them, holding placards...


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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