Saturday, September 20, 2014 Elul 25, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Not Kutcher/Goldberg; there's brains behind the brashness
"Is this the little girl I carried" ... wait, Poppa, they said drop her off at the bimah, not drop her at the bimah! Chupah chutzpah? It's "The Real Wedding Crashers," in which the march down the aisle may be by John Philip Sousa himself as brides and goons discover that love means never having to say you're sorry --...
Give me that old-time religion, preferably packaged in a new-style suspender-snapping production such as the one on Broadway that gives "Inherit the Wind" a second -- or is it third? -- wind for theatergoers. The scope of the infamous 1925 "Monkey Trial," in which evolution and creationism swung from different branches of judicial and judicious schisms, echoes still some 80...
'The Queen' writer, playwright now poses 'Frost/Nixon' as a compelling tale of the tapes
Of writing royalty and royalties: From "The Queen" to "The Last King of Scotland" to the imperial presidency of Richard M. Nixon, writer/raconteur Peter Morgan courts jesters and palace potentates with the aplomb of an insider with insight. On a filmic first-name basis with Queen Elizabeth and "Idiot" Amin -- two real-life "regals" who captured Oscars just two months ago...
There are some hot Holocaust numbers in the anything-but-little "Black Book," Paul Verhoeven's Dutch treat of a film that he calls on to reassess how much more hollow was Holland's role in helping the Resistance movement than previously recognized. What would Anne Frank say? Or, for that matter, do? For one, she would need to put her hands over her...
Now playing left flanken for the Philadelphia Eaters ... No, don't expect to see Dave Lieberman on the playing field at the Linc anytime soon -- unless it's decked out with a linen tablecloth and upright chairs -- if not uprights. Spike the ball? Maybe the punch, but, please, only with a good Pinot. Philly native son Lieberman is the...


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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