Valencia College Presents Sherlock Holmes Musical, “My Dear Watson”

Orlando, FL – Valencia College Theater will present “My Dear Watson,” an original Sherlock Holmes musical written by Orlando area composer Jami-Leigh Bartschi. The play, which originated in Central Florida, made its Off Broadway New York Musical Festival debut in 2017, is making a special return engagement to Orlando with new material added to the show.

The musical will be performed June 8 through June 17 in Valencia College’s Black Box Theater.

Set in the late 1800s, the play explores the relationship between John Watson, Professor Moriarty and the iconic “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes. Bartschi’s musical combines plot elements and characters from several of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories in an original format.

Described as “interesting, clever and faithful to the original source,” Mainstreet Musicals’ review said the production has “a lot of potential to be a great murder mystery musical.”

Sherlock Holmes fans will recognize characters and plot elements from several Conan Doyle stories, including “A Study in Scarlet,” “The Valley of Fear,” “The Three Garridebs” and “The Final Problem,” in “My Dear Watson.”

The Conan Doyle Estate has backed and supported the production. Richard Doyle, great nephew of the author and director of the estate, says, “The Conan Doyle Estate’s main aim is to have the voice of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle heard by modern audiences. I am sure my great uncle would have been delighted that his family… is supporting ‘My Dear Watson.’ “

Bartschi is a playwright, musical director, composer and music educator who lives in Longwood. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Rollins College.  John DiDonna, who has directed the musical and played the role of Sherlock Holmes in Central Florida and on the New York stage, returns to the production as director, along with Pati McMahan Sayers, who served as the music director for the New York production; dialect coach Jason Blackwater, who played Moriarty in the Off Broadway production; and Liz Curtis, who is returning to the role of Mrs. Hudson.

Valencia’s Black Box Theater is located in Building 3 on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Tickets are $12 for Valencia students, staff and senior citizens and $15 for the public. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 407-582-2900.

Note: Due to the intimate space of the Black Box Theater, late seating cannot be accommodated. Please plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before show time.

What: “My Dear Watson”

Who: Valencia College Theater, directed by John DiDonna; book, music and lyrics by Jami-Leigh Bartschi

When: June 8, 9, 11, 15, 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Matinees on June 10 and June 17 at 2 p.m.

Note: The June 16 performance will feature an ASL interpreter.

Tickets: $15 for the general public; $12 for Valencia students, staff and senior citizens