Friday, August 29, 2014 Elul 3, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
At 19, heartthrob Zac Efron cuts a class act, on screen and off
High school can be a high-wire act between cool and fool, king and clown, zits and hits. The taut experience has taught at least one hot hero that balance is bliss: Clearly, Zac Efron doesn't fear from Clearasil; his career is as creamy as his clear complexion as he smooth-talks his way through high school hi jinks and serves as...
Meals as mitzvot? Eric Krebs has sandwiched in a career of wry political bites and crispy creations, toothpicked together with topical observations. What would Dagwood say? It's what those who see his works say that speaks to the soul of the creative Krebs, a teacher whose bimah extends from Baruch College to the off-Broadway venue of New World Stages, where...
he wait is over, thanks to super Stan Lee
POW! BAM! BARUCH HASHEM! Baruch Hashem? And why not? When you're a superhero named Mr. Mitzvah, who's going to make fun of flying tzit-tzit? Look, up in the sky, it's a pareve, it's a blintze, it's ... what is that schmatta that schmendrick is wearing? No, he's no superschmendrick: He's Ivan Wilzig, in real life, mild-mannered recording artist/philanthropist. But at...
"Wicked" star Brad Weinstock proves his mettle on stage, wearing his latest role as a tin badge of honor. After all, how many Jewish Munchkins grow up to be the Tin Man? "I did," chuckles the boyish Bergen County native -- now appearing as Boq, the Munchkin with heart who evolves into the Tin Man in the award-winning Broadway musical...
The man in the gray-flannel suit wears a plaid kipah. "Not on my watch," says Don Draper, draped in a thousand-dollar smile smeared with anti-Semitic smugness. "Mad" about the boy? Not if he's Jewish, and in the ante-enlightened ad world that is the late '50s/early '60s of "Mad Men," the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency of which Draper is lead dragon...


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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