Saturday, November 1, 2014 Heshvan 8, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Paul Soles is feted for role as an embittered Holocaust survivor who, indeed, will never forget
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When 72-year-old Saul Sampson goes to bat for his heritage, it is more as Holocaust survivor than Louisville Slugger. His power is juiced by Judaism, steroids replaced by stings of memory that have him continuously circling the bases in his mind in a mad dash to outrun the goose-stepping Nazis who managed his diurnal lineup and litany of loss and...
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No country for old minyans? In a modern-day movie milieu where the au courant currency exchange at the box office seems to be blood money, does a nice movie that is heartfelt and haimisch have a prayer? If it's "Praying With Lior," which focuses on the davening dervish of a phenomenon that is Lior Liebling, it does. Indeed, it has...
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Get him to the ... temple ... on time? Who knew that Alfred P. Doolittle was a Jew? "Well, sometimes your Alfred P. Doolittles in life are Jewish," jibes Tim Jerome, who indeed is as he cavorts on stage as the dusty Doolittle who makes soot and the city so delectably dirty in "My Fair Lady." The high-flying Lerner and...
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Karl Markovics is definitely the real deal. Menacingly marvelous, Markovics portrays Salomon Sorowitsch, the major morally bankrupt member of "The Counterfeiters," a select section of concentration-camp victims in a con job by the Nazis to print bogus dollars and pounds, and thus bloat the world financial system into ruin. It is a true-to-life plot to "go green" that nearly resulted...
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Oy-Oy Seven? "In a way," claims Oded Gur-Arie, "this is what James Bond would have been like if he had had a family. "And he were Jewish." The spy who loved me? Gur-Arie agrees. His father, Ze'ev, was a Mossad operative who loved his family, but, perhaps, his home-away-from-home high-jinks even more. Ensconced in Egypt as a high-flying horse-breeder with...
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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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