Friday, September 19, 2014 Elul 24, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
A Jewish Apprentice? Not yet, but Soviet émigré Alla Wartenberg came close - and closes in on her own title as mogul
"Tee Ouvolena!" The Sputnik simulcast of "You're fired!"? If Donald Trump never actually uttered the Russian equivalent of his rejection mantra, Soviet Jewish émigré Alla Wartenberg still got the message. She made the business world's equivalent of the Final Four of basketball, jumping through hoops, but was still voted off the island - Manhattan, in this case - in the...
So, you wanna be a producer? Maybe it helps to have a great director. Susan Stroman had a hit with the flopsweat of her "Producers" on Broadway in 2001; five years later, the director/choreographer - who made body "Contact" with the Tony Award in 2000 - is now watching as her Broadway Bialystock and Bloom bounce off the big screen...
Interested in taking a trip to the "Bermuda Avenue Triangle," where audiences in the past have gotten lost in the laughs? Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna - with Lainie Kazan joining them for the ride - return here three years after their other voyage-oriented title "If You Ever Leave Me … I'm Going With You." And "On the Scene" has...
Now wide-screen wizard Jerry Bruckheimer's expanded to the small screen, too
It's been an amazing race down "Glory Road" for mega-successful producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The man whose "Amazing Race" has captured TV's Emmy Award for reality series three years running hurdles hits as if he were born with flubber in his shoes. "Glory Road," he hopes, is more than the street where he lives; this Rocky-Goes-for-the-Rebound basketball adventure is the latest...
Ben Franklin … Jewish? What did he use to discover electricity - Yiddish kite? "Well, he might have been Jewish. I've heard that his actual name was Moshe Ben Franklin," joshes Josh Kornbluth, Jewish himself and Franklin's avuncular avatar on stage. Early to bed, early to rise - you still won't be able to put one over on this mirthful...


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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