Erik is a playwright, musical bookwriter and novelist.
Most recently, he was commissioned to author a series of mashups merging classic novels and Jim Henson’s beloved Muppets for Penguin Books and Disney. The first title, Muppets Meet the Classics: The Phantom of the Opera, will be published in October 2017.
He has also been awarded a 2017 residency grant at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico.
For the theater, Erik has written numerous critically acclaimed plays and musicals.He adapted the beloved TV comedy Cheers for a live stage event, which premiered in Boston in September 2016, and was followed by a run in Chicago.
His latest original piece, the darkly comic drama Like a Billion Likes, is the winner of the Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award; the winner of the Southwest Playwriting Competition; a finalist for the 2016 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference (top 54 scripts out of more than 1,450); a top 10 finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award; a semifinalist for the Inkslinger Playwriting Competition; and was named runner-up in the Todd McNerney Playwriting Contest, where it was read as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival’s “Stelle Di Domani” series.
His musical Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, co-written with Ben Winters and featuring the songs of Neil Sedaka (arranged by Tom Kitt), was developed at New York’s Capital Rep and the Actors’ Playhouse in Miami; it has since been licensed by Theatrical Rights Worldwide and performed in cities across the globe, from London to Seoul, South Korea.
Erik’s comic adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie premiered Off Broadway at New York’s P.S. 122, with subsequent national productions. Doll, a twisted take on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, was produced at P.S. 122 and in Washington D.C. His comic thriller Tell-Tale premiered at P.S. 122 then transferred to the Cherry Lane Theater. It received a GLADD nomination as best play of the year. The comedy Charlie! drew “listening-room only” audiences (for reals) to P.S. 122 and later transferred to the HERE Theater. He also penned the screen adaptation of Charlie! The movie premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and subsequently screened at festivals around world.
Erik was a staff writer and story editor for season two of Here TV’s supernatural series Dante’s Cove. His screenplay Heartbreaker, a psychosexual thriller, was a finalist for the Outfest Screenwriting Lab. Erik’s poems appeared in the Showtime film The Escape, starring Patrick Dempsey.
He is the playwright-in-residence for New York’s Theatre Couture, and, as a member of the American Theatre Wing’s Advisory Board, he is a voter for the annual Tony Awards.
In the publishing world, Erik is currently Executive Projects Director for Entertainment Weekly magazine. He is known as an expert producer of compelling, visually dynamic content that engages and activates readers who love pop culture, style, home decor and entertaining, plus all aspects of fashion, beauty and grooming.
As a brand ambassador and storyteller, Erik possesses a distinctive ability to build businesses by innovating as well as bringing fresh yet pragmatic approaches to existing ideas and franchises. He’s highly regarded for his skill in articulating and executing creative visions persuasively and passionately; for collaborating with and inspiring others; and for delivering exceptional results.
Previously, Erik spent seven years, ultimately as Executive Editor, at InStyle, one of the world’s largest fashion media brands. (To read an interview about his time at InStyle, click here.) Before that, he was the editor-in-chief of Show People magazine, published by Time Inc., and an editor at Us Weekly and Time Out New York. His articles as a freelance writer have appeared in Glamour, W, Real Simple, Town & Country and Out, among others.
He has been an on-air reporter for the TV program Talking Movies on BBC/BBC America; acted as host of ABC’s entertainment program The Us Weekly Report; and was a correspondent for ABC’s News One radio show. As a correspondent, he has appeared on CNN, VH1, Entertainment Tonight, The View, Access Hollywood, Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, and, in a moment of shining glory, on MTV’s How to Live Like a Celebrity Pet.