Monday, September 22, 2014 Elul 27, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
By:
Just what would Wagner say? Doesn't matter; Israelis are saying ken to "Springtime for Hitler," the masterpiece of mishugas and the centerpiece of "The Producers," which just opened to SRO - Smoking Room Only - in a Tel Aviv theater. According to a news-wire report, Israeli audiences - who wag their finger, the third one - at anyone even suggesting...
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It's Deja's view all over again. And fans of classical animated features are forever grateful that it is. What Polish-born animator Andreas Deja has done is take the business of pencil-pushing and elevated it into high art. Because the pencils he's been pushing push the envelope of the animated world that is Walt Disney. Sure, CGI has gotten the gee-whiz...
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In carving out an acclaimed career, James Woods has never given a wooden performance. Lively, livid, alive - his characters create a cascade of verbal hurricanes, with the star gleaning huzzahs for his efforts. How ironic, then, that Woods' most physical and perceptive performance is one in which only his eyes speak powerfully, poignantly for him. And in that performance...
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Going for the ''Golda'' Valerie Harper primed for her portrayal of Israel''s legendary prime minister
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What’s “Golda’s Balcony” but Molly Goldberg’s stoop with a vertical view of breaking news rather than bleak Brownsville. Ah, but what a view! And as Golda Meir stoops to conquer, Valerie Harper steps into the role as if she were born to do so. From “Rhoda” to “Golda,” Harper’s planted her feet solidly on Mother Earth characters, whether they be...
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"Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World"? Keep looking; Albert Brooks hasn't found it. Certainly, his current so-called comedy is bereft of it. Maybe it's hidden under one of the barkas the characters of the film wear. What "Comedy" does is wearisome. Based on the premise that the best way to disarm the enemy is to nuke 'em with nuggets...
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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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