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Aaron Wallace

Aaron Wallace is a podcaster, attorney, and the bestselling author of several books on travel and entertainment, including Hocus Pocus in Focus: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Disney’s Halloween Classic and a series dedicated to Walt Disney World theme park attractions. His podcast, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Pod, is the longest-running Disney podcast on the web. He’s also an avid Broadway and musical theatre fan.

Bridging several academic disciplines in his work, Aaron holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both English and Communication Studies (concentrating in Film, Television, and Media Studies) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, he earned a Juris Doctorate at Wake Forest University. Today, he lives in Orlando and studies theatre, theme parks, television, movies, music, and more. For more, follow him on Instagram and Twitter: @aaronwallace
 




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BWW Review: Garden Theatre's VIOLET, An Unfussy Musical with a Worthy Cast PhotoBWW Review: Garden Theatre's VIOLET, An Unfussy Musical with a Worthy Cast
Posted: Feb. 6, 2020


BWW Review: ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at Dr. Phillips Center Is Far from Paradise PhotoBWW Review: ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at Dr. Phillips Center Is Far from Paradise
Posted: Nov. 14, 2019


BWW Review: An Elderly Patron and I Disagree About BEN-HUR: AN EPIC COMEDY! at Garden PhotoBWW Review: An Elderly Patron and I Disagree About BEN-HUR: AN EPIC COMEDY! at Garden Theatre
Posted: Mar. 9, 2020


BWW Review: Everything Wrong with ALADDIN: The Musical (And Why You Should See It at  PhotoBWW Review: Everything Wrong with ALADDIN: The Musical (And Why You Should See It at Dr. Phillips Center Anyway)
Posted: Feb. 6, 2020


BWW Review: Put on Your Sunday Masks: The Garden's HELLO, DOLLY! Reminds Us There's a PhotoBWW Review: Put on Your Sunday Masks: The Garden's HELLO, DOLLY! Reminds Us There's a World Out There
Posted: Sep. 11, 2020


BWW Review: MEAN GIRLS is a Musical for the Ages (National Tour at Dr. Phillips Cente PhotoBWW Review: MEAN GIRLS is a Musical for the Ages (National Tour at Dr. Phillips Center)
Posted: Mar. 3, 2020


BWW Review: Put on Your Sunday Masks: The Garden's HELLO, DOLLY! Reminds Us There's a World Out There
September 11, 2020

Fate couldn't have found a more fitting show for the Garden Theatre's 2020 return than one with a whole song about getting out of the house and hitting the town... The Garden has done just about everything a theatre of its size can do to mitigate risk and keep its patrons safe... It did feel very good to be back in a theatre again...

BWW Review: An Elderly Patron and I Disagree About BEN-HUR: AN EPIC COMEDY! at Garden Theatre
March 9, 2020

a?oeThat's the worst thing I've ever seen,a?? said an elderly woman on her way out the door. a?oeI couldn't have said it better myself!a?? her friend agreed. Far be it for me to differ a?' they probably saw Ben-Hur in theatres while I still didn't know who was going to win the chariot race a?' but I loved it.

BWW Review of SPAMILTON: AN AMERICAN PARODY at Dr. Phillips Center, Fun But Flimsy
March 6, 2020

It's symptomatic of SPAMILTON's inconsistency: quite funny and thoughtful in one moment, down a rabbit hole the next. For every inspired sequence in which Lin-Manuel engages 'Stephen Sondheim as Ben Franklin' in a lengthy debate about the density of rhymes, there's a lazily written riff like 'not throwing away my pot' (an extended refrain that comes out of nowhere and exists only for the cheap laugh of a weed joke). Too many of the rhymes are moon-and-June; too many of the jokes are merely references in disguise; too many of the allusions are a crutch.

BWW Review: MEAN GIRLS is a Musical for the Ages (National Tour at Dr. Phillips Center)
March 3, 2020

It's revitalized. It's funny (with new jokes). It's Facebook - er, Instagram. It's Mean Girls meets 2020. Fey's stage book is so thoughtfully transliterated from its early-aughts source, it's the familiar lines that earn the smallest laughs (except from those who've never seen the movie... shout-out to the couple who nearly died when they heard 'too gay to function,' clearly for the first time).

BWW Review: Garden Theatre's VIOLET, An Unfussy Musical with a Worthy Cast
February 6, 2020

A single-act show, it could use an occasional shot in the arm. Some of the songs drag and none are especially memorable. As bus stories goes, the pacing is a long, long way from Speed. The central love triangle between Violet and two boys on the bus (military officers Monty and Flick) feels all too familiar, and its engagement with the theme of interracial romance (Flick is African-American, Monty and Violet are white) feels underserved in a show that is ultimately about self-shame and misguided faith. Still, the show...

BWW Review: Everything Wrong with ALADDIN: The Musical (And Why You Should See It at Dr. Phillips Center Anyway)
February 6, 2020

Why? Every time I answer that, I start to feel like the Genie in a?oePrince Alia?? when he's counting all those elephants, peacocks, and camels. There are a lot of problems here. Maybe not fifty-three or seventy-five or however many Persian monkeys he has, but I can definitely point to at least five things that keep this stage version one jump behind its cinematic counterpart.

BWW Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Also Goes Long, but with Laughs and Gasps at Dr. Phillips Center
December 9, 2019

...but it's the humanity underpinning the comedy that really surprised me. The a?oestudentsa?? are so earnest in their efforts. It's their Muppet-ish instinct to make the best of a bad mistake under a spotlight that makes the show so relatable. Aren't we all just trying to do our best as the set pieces of our lives malfunction all around us?

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL - A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS at Garden Theatre Loses Sight of Scrooge
November 29, 2019

Playwright Michael Wilson has turned all of Act I into a walk down the 'yellow brick road' of London, where Scrooge meets three vendors who will resurface more translucently later that night. It's as eye-rolling as it sounds and even more boring than you can imagine. Heads were nodding all around me. Only my coffee kept mine upright.

BWW Review: ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at Dr. Phillips Center Is Far from Paradise
November 14, 2019

I would never drink on the job, but at ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, a?oepour me something tall and stronga?? is part of the mandate a?" and the show writers are clearly counting on tequila to carry them through. Margaritaville is an island getaway where the drinks are strong, Jimmy Buffett is god, and every single inhabitant has exactly one personality trait. It's definitely the cheeseburger version of paradise...

BWW Review: LES MISERABLES Is Surprisingly Strong on Tour, Now at Dr. Phillips Center
October 24, 2019

It's an incredible production with a cast that slays Misérables. Some will lament the use of projection mapping, but it's relatively minimal and tastefully integrated within giant, imposing, ever-moving physical set pieces that tower above the audience and create an incredible sense of scale. I won't spoil any surprises, but there are a handful of very neat effects on stage, physical and digital alike. And the lighting design is both gorgeous and brave, unafraid to cast characters in shadows and keep things dark for long periods of time when it fits the mood...

BWW Review: Theater West End Goes All Out for ONCE ON THIS ISLAND with an In-House Beach and Crazy-Talented Cast
October 21, 2019

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND comes to life with mounds of sand, full-fledged shacks, an overturned boat that doubles as a platform, a wood-planked bridge, and a running stream of water that curls around the stage in a rock-lined canal. Let me repeat: they built a river that flows through the theatre. It's the most impressive set I've seen here, and that's saying something. At one point, rain falls down from the ceiling all around the stage, as if to replenish the river as it evaporates under Derek Critzer and Jonathan Scaringella's lively light design.

BWW Review: The Nonstop Twists and Turns in Garden Theatre's DEATHTRAP Are Both Trick and Treat
October 14, 2019

DEATHTRAP gets off to a slow start, but by Scene Two - when the third of five characters enters the action - it's off to a fast-paced saga of twists, turns, and fatalities... Hilarity and homicide ensue, but in ways you won't see coming, with so many plot twists and misdirects that even an audience with ESP might gasp, as the Garden's sold-out house did all night long. Well, most of the theater...

BWW Review: Garden Theatre's RAGTIME Is Something Special
September 3, 2019

For RAGTIME, director Mark Edward Smith and his crew have crafted one of the most appealing and stately sets I've seen at the Garden Theatre. The blocking is clever and thoughtful - important when you have a big ensemble cast on a small stage - and the lighting and costumes are on point. The vaudeville era must be the Garden's charm, because this is certainly the best staging I've seen here since the last season opener, Gypsy. But whether you've seen RAGTIME or not, it's the cast here that is really going to wow you...

BWW Review: Theater West End's IF/THEN Is a Moving, Thought-Provoking, Big-Song Musical You'll Be Glad You Saw
August 19, 2019

IF/THEN is a dramatization of the concept of opportunity cost. How different might your life be because you went to the park an hour later than you planned or lingered there a little longer? How much of life's trajectory is informed by choice as opposed to coincidence or what is 'supposed' to be? How could your seemingly inconsequential afternoon fundamentally change not only your life but also the lives of your friends and family? IF/THEN has a lot of thoughts on those questions... the overall reward is worthwhile.

BWW Interview: 'Weird Al' Yankovic Talks About Broadway, Nerd Life, Jelly Donuts, and Touring with a Symphony
July 5, 2019

We talk about his new STRINGS ATTACHED tour - which happens to be his biggest and most extravagant ever (and for 'Weird Al,' that's saying a lot) - his Broadway bucket list, whether he's changed his mind on doing a new Star Wars song, what it was like to grow up as an uncool genius, why no one needs to look forward to his death, and his affection for a certain stuffed pastry, among other things....

BWW Review: GHOST THE MUSICAL Brings Poltergeists, Pop Songs, and Pottery to Theater West End in Sanford
June 24, 2019

For all my problems with GHOST: THE MUSICAL, Ghost remains an extremely compelling story. Its unusual blend of comedy, drama, horror, and romance is still striking on stage, and even though there were things I'd change, last night I texted a few friends and told them to be sure they see GHOST: THE MUSICAL while it's still at Theater West End, faults and all. I'm going to recommend the same to you...

BWW Review: COME FROM AWAY at Dr. Phillips Center Shows Us the Best of Humanity in the Worst of Times
June 12, 2019

That the odds are against it underscores just what a tremendous achievement COME FROM AWAY represents. Almost two decades later, this still isn't easy ground to tread - not for creators and certainly not for audiences. But COME FROM AWAY rings true. It is reverent but not funereal, stirring but not saccharine. It works, perhaps, because it looks at 9/11 from a distance - not from the streets of Manhattan but the distant shores of Canada instead. And it purposely eschews the maudlin. There is no emotional browbeating in this show... It speaks to a part of us that we sometimes forget we have - the part that, we hope, will rise to the occasion and respond to tragedy with compassion and care...

BWW Review: Classy Meets Wacky in 'WEIRD AL''s Must-See STRINGS ATTACHED Tour at Melbourne, FL's King Center
June 11, 2019

But lest you worry that this isn't the full-fledged Yankovic stage experience, rest assured: you aren't missing out one bit. I've always said a 'Weird Al' show is like a series of music videos brought to life on stage. True to form, nearly each new song in STRINGS ATTACHED brings an elaborate costume change, with occasional video interstitials...

BWW Review: ANASTASIA at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
May 15, 2019

Thankfully, when ANASTASIA hit Broadway, it dispensed with anyone immortal or winged, replacing fantasy with the real-world politics that led up to the Romanovs' demise. The added historical context grounds this once-wacky story, and frankly, I would have welcomed even more of it...

BWW Review: DEAR EVAN HANSEN Shows Orlando Why It Rocked Broadway
April 18, 2019

There's terrific acting in the touring cast, even if the singing voices waver from Platt to flat. We get an incredibly convincing Evan in Ben Levi Ross (an understudy for the same role on Broadway). He interprets the character as nervous, nerdy, and unknowingly funny. It's an excellent performance...



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