Saturday, September 20, 2014 Elul 25, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
The ogre from Odessa? The monster from Minsk? Who knew?
Will the rest of the summer film season be ripped to "Shrek" once the green ogre with shofars for ears opens this Friday? More important ... to some ... will the fairy-tale figure with a Scottish burr finally give in to his natural heritage and resort to spit-takes of "ch"? And just how does one say "don ... key" in...
Jerry Stiller not only breaks up audiences -- he also gets to break the glass in tonight's final episode of CBS's "The King of Queens." It may be the most unorthodox Jewish wedding of all -- neither bride nor groom is Jewish. But the rabbi? He's another story -- played by Josh Cooke of Gladwyne, whose bimah-bound bromide-spouting cleric doesn't...
... and how 'Mary Poppins,' now on Broadway, joined his band bound for greatness
A nanny over the roof ... sounds crazy, no? No, because in this little village that is Broadway and 42nd Street, a nanny over the roof is filling the auditorium underneath it, with a magic and magnetic appeal that carries all the way to the ... well, to the roof. Eat your heart out Tevye! But then, he's not jealous...
Think Da Vinci's was difficult? Spellbinding TV series gets helping hand from an inside source: the Vatican
Torture and Torquemada crossed paths and pathology with the Catholic Church on the ruinous road to the Inquisition as the Spanish steps toward ethnic cleansing sent non-Catholics careening into a tailspin of fiery 15th-century moral turpitude. It is no secret that the Spanish Inquisition's inequities inveighed against its Jews, forced to convert or be condemned by a church hell-bent on...
The shadow Orson Welles cast during a prolific and profligate lifestyle had less to do with his gargantuan girth than the net he used to nab some of the world's best talent to take part in his evocative and echtian productions. Caught in that shroud -- and the shrapnel stitched inside -- were Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright, co-stars --...


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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