Saturday, December 27, 2014 Tevet 5, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Playwright brings it all home to Israel
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He is the "Two Thousand Years" man. But Mike Leigh -- despite the Yiddishkeit that soars throughout his new drama opening off-Broadway on Feb. 7 -- is no babbling Mel Brooks. He blazes society, not saddles. And "Two Thousand Years" enflames and entertains as it examines a muddled middle-class Jewish-geography of a family -- place them outside not so-cheerio England...
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A training film for mohels cutting their teeth in the business? "That's a possibility," muses Mitchell Lichtenstein. But, no, "Teeth," which he wrote, directed and co-produced, is more molar than mohel, and definitely not what the doctor ordered. The blackest of black comedies could give fans of "The Vagina Monologues" something to talk about between themselves. The heroine of this...
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Hooray for Hollywood -- and for Michael Elkin's "On the Scene" Academy Awards contest! Come Sunday night, Feb. 24, we'll know who's the tops in talent for the past year of movie magic, courtesy of the Oscars. "On the Scene" winners have a chance to predict the award recipients. Here's all you have to do: Pick the correct nominee in...
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Some good GPS advice: To get to "Avenue Q," go straight to "Sesame Street," and then make a U-turn. A really huge U-turn. Broadway audiences have turned to "Avenue Q" for the ultimate street theater that it is; the show, a parody of the puppets that make Muppets a must-stop pop on children's TV, hit the yellow-brick road and then...
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Bravo moment: Patti Stanger is truly one in a 'Million'
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Yenta, you've met your match. And if her shtetl shimmers with tinsel rather than tzimmes, well, isn't there a lid for every pot? Patti Stanger certainly knows so. No love-connection stranger, Stanger is a third-generation generator of matchmaking with one major difference: Her mother and grandmother did it for love at their shul; she does it for a living. And...
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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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