In 1997, The Scarlet Pimpernel made it to Broadway, so why not a musicalization of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders? No doubt that's what's going through the minds of Peter Mattaliano and Stephen Jankowski, authors of just such a show. Of course, their musical is a work in progress, with months and maybe years to go before such an opportunity might present itself.
The place to start? Well, for Moll Flanders it's Blackjacks V, the fifth annual festival of new works-in-progress sponsored by NY's Collaborative Arts Project 21. The idea is to give composers, librettists, playwrights and screenwriters a place to stage-read their new works. Frank Ventura serves as artistic director.
This year's fest kicks off Jan. 30 with Moll Flanders, directed by Wendy Waterman. Daniel Defoe's novel follows a feisty 17th century woman journeying through the new world.
Another musical, Move It And It's Yours, has this odd premise: a man forced to move his baby grand piano out of his upper west side NY apartment encounters all sorts of neighbors with different designs on the instrument. Susan Rosenstock directs this musical comedy by Bill Weeden, David Finkel and Sally Fay.
Melissa Maxwell's epic drama, Salt In The Wound, plays Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. It follows the life-long battle between an attractive, young African-American woman and her domineering mother. Two screenplays also reach the Fest: Robert Shaffron's Unhappy At Last and Michael Patrick Kelly's Point of View.
For tickets ($5) and information on the CAP 21 Blackjacks V Festival, Jan. 30-Feb. 2, at 18 West 18th St., call (212) 807-0202.
-- By David Lefkowitz