Wednesday, July 27, 2016 Tammuz 21, 5776

Michael Elkin

Maybe on to a Tony Award sweep -- familiar dance ground for some local academy alums and their top-notch teacher
Set to spring and soar among the Tony Award seraphim after stepping to the forefront of Broadway's best following this past Tuesday's record-tying nominations (15) announcement, "Billy Elliot" is operating on all jetés. And while this movie-based moving musical about an impoverished young lad from an English coal-mining town burnished into a diamond at dance class has raised the barr...
'Hair' today ... and a columnist's nonpharmacological trip down memory lane
You ask me why I'm just a hairy guy. Go ahead. Ask me. Oh, that picture -- an old photo from my college days in the 1960s, when I had long beautiful hair: shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen. Now it's more "Grey Gardens" than straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty, oily, greasy, fleecy, knotted, polka-dotted, twisted, beaded, braided powdered,...
Flying the coop? Their souls soared creating it. "It" was the Alberton Cooperative Apartments -- better known as "The Coops" -- a Bronx-built bastion of forward-thinking complexes that never looked back on its way to a social -- and Socialist -- utopia. Moscow on the brink at the Bronx? Filmmaker Michal Goldman feels at home focusing on the Depression-era haven...
Then here's a prize you just may be able to use ... again!
Not that there's anything wrong with it. But ... Do we really need to make icons and heroes out of heartless and heedless misanthropes sentenced to prison for their acts against humanity, who stood idly by while watching the public get ripped off and robbed of their decency and savings? No, not AIG. Not even Lehman Bros. No, of course...
"Lawrence of Arabia"? Avitan of Judaica! It's so much more than a sand thing; indeed, this sabra Spielberg wannabe knows all too well the do's and dunes of making it in the film business. Correction. "No, I admire Steven Spielberg; he's a genius. I am not a genius. I want to do good films, but I only hope to be...


Michael Elkin worked for the Jewish Exponent for over 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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