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My Dear Watson (NYMF)

From 9 critic and 28 member reviews
Members say: Slow, Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Clever

About the show

Part of the New York Musical Festival: Told from the perspective of Dr. Watson, this dramatic musical reanalyzes and redefines love and friendship for a man who is seemingly incapable of both. More…

Follow the legendary friendship of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Through the mystery, action, and cleverness woven throughout Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, 'My Dear Watson' looks beyond the realm of narrative and into the heart of the man himself...that is, if he has one at all. Is there a man in the machine? An official selection of the 2017 New York Musical Festival.

Theater Pizzazz

“A clever tale of mystery…The melodic score, orchestrated with a piano and violin, gracefully moves up and down the scale…The creative team has done a lot right to establish the world of the play…It’s magical and moving in the way that musical theater should be. John DiDonna is dashing as Holmes. His performance is steely, sharp, and clear. His voice, although a bit raspy, carries…Soothing melodies are pleasant and memorable.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Kyle Stone's John Watson is the heart of this production...The back and forth between Holmes and Watson is clever and delightful...Fans of Sherlock Holmes will doubtless enjoy 'My Dear Watson.' It's a fun little musical that banks on the ever-enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as a duo. It's not exactly chock-full of showstoppers (though the music is nice) and it may leave a little something to be desired in parts; but it's Sherlock Holmes." Full Review


"Didonna is not an especially charismatic or vocally strong Holmes...His direction tends to be rather clunky...In fairness to all the performers, this is clearly a case of a company working with a limited budget and most importantly, that Bartschi has not given them an especially impressive score or lyrics...'My Dear Watson' has been a work in progress for nine years. For it to have a life beyond its current brief run in New York, it still needs a lot more work." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Bartschi's dialogue is prosaic and heavily expository...Her lyrics are similarly dispassionate and information-packed...A score that meanders up and down minor-key scales; it's nearly all minor-key...It gets compelling on rare occasion...'My Dear Watson,' then, isn't much good, but...It accomplishes what previous Holmes musicals failed to do: It gives Holmes and Watson something to sing about. If only they had better stuff to sing." Full Review


"Manages to cover surprisingly little dramatic territory...The plot, such as it is, doesn't begin in earnest until post-intermission...The show's principal pair don't prove to be up to the task of buoying this sinking musical. Of the two, Kyle Stone as Dr. John Watson is the more proficient, both vocally and dramatically, and he's at the forefront for most of 'My Dear Watson's' most watchable moments. But unfortunately those moments occur all too rarely over the show's two hours." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"So the question is: do we need another Sherlock Holmes show? And does the new one add something new and unusual to the tradition? The answer to both, my dear Watson, is elementary: no! Even Holmes might be baffled by this structurally flimsy, inexpertly performed, two-hour, musical corpse…so lamely acted, sung, and staged…it's almost a parody of bad theatre…'My Dear Watson' may be a mystery play but the big mystery is why, after nine years of work, it's not any better." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"I made the mistake of choosing to see ‘My Dear Watson’...What should be elementary about crafting a musical hasn’t been made clear to Bartschi. She appears not even to have mastered the rudiments...There’s little in the production worth recommending other than a few earnest performances from Didonna as Holmes, Stone as Watson, and Blackwater as Moriarty. Those three do most of the singing—not terribly well." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"The book, music, and lyrics are at best unremarkable and the performances range from barely adequate to completely inadequate. DiDonna’s direction is haphazard and the staging is sophomoric. It is difficult to discern what precisely contributes to the lack of success of this musical. The characters are not believable and their conflicts are not interesting...'My Dear Watson' has the distinct flavor of community theater and needs considerable work to move forward." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A lethargic Sherlock Holmes musical that needs plenty of work if it is to have any legs. There is too much talk and not enough singing, and what music there is has little power...There is a murder, of course, but there’s not much of interest about it. Yes, Professor Moriarty appears as the arch villain, and that leads to one of the most ridiculous fight scenes imaginable." Full Review

Disappointing, Resonant, Delightful, Entertaining, Slow

See it if You like Sherlock Holmes then you will enjoy the play. It drags out in parts and is slow and disappointing.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow, Confusing

See it if you are a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan. I enjoyed the actor playing Watson. Music is ok but lyrics need work. See it if you loved Jekyll & H

Don't see it if you know little of Sherlock Holmes, because you probably won't understand what's happening. Don't see it if you hated Jekyll & Hyde.

A loving homage to iconic characters, Light fodder lacking depth, Amateurish, Music has promise, Disappointing

See it if a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories & don't mind an inchoate, rough, disappointing production reducing beloved tales.

Don't see it if you're expecting something intelligent, masterful, and clever; if it breaks your heart to see favorite literary figures reduced to flatness.

Also While My Dear Watson has its heart in the right place, and while the a... Read more Read less

Lacking imagination, Slow, Disappointing, Intelligent, Clever

See it if Only if you absolutely love any and all stories dealing with Sherlock Holmes, don't mind an overall amateurishness, unimaginative lyrics.

Don't see it if You expect a taut script, good songs, dislike uneven acting (some better than others), prefer faster-paced imaginative shows w/o cliches.

Too broad, Ambitious, Faithful to the short stories

See it if you love all things to do with Sherlock Holmes.

Don't see it if you are looking to the beauty in small moments and interactions.

Also This is a show that is clearly done with love, and includes a lot of b... Read more Read less

Amateurish, Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if You want to experience anything and everything Holmes.

Don't see it if You hold recent tv adaptations of Sherlock as a yardstick.

Also As is, no reason to be a musical. Very flat performances and soporific... Read more Read less

Ok, Adequate, Slow, Dated, Absorbing

See it if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan interested in a small-scale musical of the detective.

Don't see it if you want a more creative, ambitious musical.

Lackluster, boring, slow, Excruciating

See it if You love anything Holmes and Watson, even though it is not a very good story and the acting and singing are poor.

Don't see it if You are not in the mood to see a community theater quality musical production of beloved fictional characters with bland songs & dialog.

Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You love everything Sherlock Holmes.

Don't see it if You can do anything else. The music was slow and dull.

Amateurish, Slow, Disappointing, Monotonous, Dull

See it if you are a die-hard Holmesian who must experience everything possible concerning him. Children might benefit from this kind of introduction.

Don't see it if you want to experience Holmes on a higher level. The music is dirge-like when it's not sounding like chant. NYMF usually chooses better.

Bad direction, Boring, Disappointing

See it if I went wanting to like it. But after I've seen Benedict Cumberbatch be Holmes, it's hard to accept an older actor without Benedict's spark.

Don't see it if The pace is plodding. The tech (projections and lighting) is better than the script. Overall it's not worth it.

Awful singing, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You want to see the most amateurish show NYMF has actually staged, are a big enough Sherlock fan to see anything and everything based on it

Don't see it if U dont want to suffer through a dull story, insipid lyrics, a Sherlock who can't sing surrounded by a cast speak-singing, can see other show

Embarrassing, Painful, Excruciating

See it if don't see it!!! Period!!! No ifs!!!

Don't see it if you don't want to leave embarrassed and ashamed. It's not a musical but a tasteless text declamation with occasional failed song attempts.

Also If a take on a timeless classic is attempted with so many good version... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Profound, Slow, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if You're a big Sherlock Holmes fan and you want an intelligent, profound take on the stories.

Don't see it if You're looking for an upbeat, big ensemble show.

Great writing, Great acting, Great singing, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You like good things.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Must see, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Delightful, Ambitious

See it if You like solving mysteries and leave wanting more!

Don't see it if You don't like thinking about the performance after the show has ended.

Great writing, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You are a Holmes fan. The modern day "bromance" term is explored between Holmes & Watson. Projections give you the feel of time & place.

Don't see it if You're wanting a traditional musical. It's in NYMF's Presentation only category. Wish you could have seen the Orlando set design - great!

Exquisite, Delightful, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you like Sherlock Holmes characters and want a deeper take in it

Don't see it if you expect a huge shallow production

Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if The cast and crew are very talented, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Loved this show!

Don't see it if A must see

Great acting, Funny, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You are a Sherlock Holmes fan. This show has light humor, mystery, and a study into an unusual friendship.

Don't see it if You want a danceable musical. The songs are catchy but lean more towards ballads and introspection.

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Ambitious

See it if You love Sherlock Holmes. And if you, as I, are an eternal fan of director and actor John Didonna, who never ceases to delight.

Don't see it if You only like HAMILTON.

Riveting, Great staging, Absorbing, Great singing

See it if You enjoy the story of Sherlock Holmes (a la Benedict Cumberbatch).

Don't see it if You don't have a bit of imagination. The stage doesn't allow for much in the way of an actual set, but this is cleverly averted by video.

Clever, Slow, Intelligent, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you're a fan of Holmes who is interested in seeing a true adaptation of the original stories, set to a beautiful musical score.

Don't see it if you are expecting a traditional, big-name musical with love interests and comedic subplots and intricate dance numbers.

Also The charm of this show rests in the fact that it doesn't bow to tradit... Read more Read less

Authentically doylean; emotionally engaging; finely acted!

See it if You want to see a story about the meanings of friendship.

Don't see it if You think Sherlock Holmes is just Jonny Lee Miller.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You want to see a musical that isn't your traditional musical! There aren't show stopping dance numbers, but thoughtful ballads.

Don't see it if You want a jazzy dance number.