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BWW Reviews: IT'S ALWAYS YOU Delights Audiences at Best of Fringe at the Toronto Centre

It's Always You, a new musical being presented at the "Best of Fringe" is a delightful and impressive new work by Canadian writers Dan Redican (book/lyrics) and Scott White (music). The show looks at the choices people make, and how they affect the outcomes of our lives.

It's Always You is made up of many short scenes, all set at the same time: 4:03 PM to be precise. Each of these scenes also focus on the same characters, Bill (Dan Redican), Elaine (Sheila McCarthy), and Ted (Shawn Thompson). In each of the scenes, these characters live different lives - because each scene takes place in a different parallel universe where the protagonists made different choices.

On paper, the concept sounds confusing and hard to follow, but on stage the material shines. While each scene is different, there is some order to the way they are arranged. It's Always You has some wonderful songs, and some that still need a little work. The score still sounds as though it's not sure what it's trying to be, and not fully realized yet. At this point, I would consider this show a play with music, rather than a musical. The plot is swiftly moved along by the hilarious Madeleine Redican (Dan Redican's daughter), who acts as a narrator and various other characters (everything from a dating service operator, a doctor, and everything in between.)

Theatre lovers will have a blast at this show, because from the way it comes across, it was written for them. It's a show that doesn't take itself too seriously, and isn't afraid to call out its own cheesiness. At the same time, the show is also full of heart and leaves you pondering some of the choices you may have made.

This new work has immense potential, and I look forward to seeing it have continued success after its run at the Fringe Festival.

It's Always You has two more performances at the Toronto Centre. For more information, see the Fringe Website and the Toronto Centre Website. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.

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From This Author Alan Henry