Friday, October 24, 2014 Tishri 30, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Philadelphian awakens to being a Broadway star
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What better time than the heart of winter for Broadway to mend its heart with a much-needed "Spring" break? And "Spring Awakening" is just that, a break from the past prosaic way of performing things on Broadway, where the tried-and-true traditional has become so ho-hum -- with more an emphasis on the first -- that it would even make Tevye...
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New documentary's more than skin deep in exploring eating disorders
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Fashionistas as femme fatale role models? Slim chance: Those waifs walking down the catwalk with their whisker-wobbly, wafer-thin poses look like they haven't come up against a roll in ages. The fashion industry's thin obsession is perfumed with emetics and emergency rooms; "the look" has become a lethal weapon exploding in its own scrawny face -- a fatal attraction, as...
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Chanukah with the 'Brothers & Sisters'
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Now this is a Chanukah miracle; turn on the TV and hit the lights, menorah and otherwise: The Flying Nun is Jewish! Well ... sort of. Sally Field, who had the habit in hand of playing the soaring supplicant in the late '60s series about a Sister with the wind beneath her wings, is now the mother superior in "Brothers...
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Oy-dentity? No such problem for NBC's new game show, "Identity." It knows what it is: a clever, cunning ka-nock to any conceit that first impressions are the best impressions. Impressing during a five consecutive-night showcase ending this Friday, "Identity" is the latest stamp on Ben Silverman's passport to popularity. The series exec producer and Reveille's founder/CEO who's responsible for such...
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What's all this kreplach about Jews and Italians sharing one mind and a million gestures? Show who believes this by a show of hands! And it is in such handiwork -- ever see a Jew and an Italian talking together? It's like a case study in semiotics -- that Steve Solomon has made the wisest of choices: splitting his heritage...
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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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