Part of the New York Musical Festival, “My Dear Watson” is 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. Book, music and lyrics are by Jami-Leigh Bartschi.
The plot involves Dr. John Watson (Kyle Stone) arriving in need of a place to rent and is referred to Sherlock Holmes (John Didonna, also the show’s director), who has space. Holmes becomes the friend Watson so desperately needs. The best song is Watson singing “Where Are You, My Friend?” He injects a bit of emotion.
There is a murder, of course, but there’s not much of interest about it. Yes, Professor Moriarty (Jason Blackwater) appears as the arch villain, and that leads to one of the most ridiculous fight scenes imaginable. Didonna as Holmes is a relatively short fellow compared to the tall, hulking Blackwater as Moriarty, and when they engage in hand-to-hand combat it is totally ludicrous, as Moriarty could easily crush his opponent. Fortunately they quickly disappear off stage.
The scenery consists primarily of projections, which are nicely done by Dana Mott. Bartschi is musical director, and Pati Sayers is on piano and Eri Park as violinist. At the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 416 West 42nd Street. Reviewed July 12, 2017.