Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Closing Weekend of FPAC’s Mary Poppins at THE BLACK BOX

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC)’s production of Disney & Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins runs through October 24 at THE BLACK BOX. The production is choreographed by and stars Broadway’s Clay Rice-Thomson. Everyone's favorite practically perfect nanny takes flight in THE BLACK BOX for this Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical adventure. 

The production stars NYC’s Kaley Were as the title character. Were has performed regionally and across America with The Wizard of Oz National as well as at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Mary Poppins, Oklahoma!, Big Fish), and Disney Cruise Line (Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream). She has most recently been sailing the seven seas with Disney Cruise Line, performing on the Disney Dream in the IAAPA award-winning production of Beauty and the Beast. Were graduated from Oklahoma City University's Bass School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre. This will be her first production with FPAC.

Choreographing the production and starring as the loveable chimney sweep Bert, is Broadway’s Clay Rice-Thomson. Rice-Thomson has performed on Broadway in KING KONG (King’s Company), Newsies (Spot Colon), Matilda (Michael Wormwood), and the Broadway National Tours of WICKED (Chistery), Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story (A-rab), and Cameron Macintosh’s Oliver. His TV credits include Saturday Night Live, The TONY Awards, MACYS Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Tonight Show, GMA, The Late Show, The View, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and more. With FPAC, Rice-Thomson choreographed Matilda, starred in Christopher Rice's The Tappy Christmas Special: LIVE!, and most recently played Aaron Schultz in summer 2021’s Legally Blonde.  

Audience member Jen from Medfield comments, “It was a Broadway show in a small arena.” She continues, “It’s just so great to be out again in a theater.” 

FPAC’s production, directed by Raye Lynn Mercer, is presented with a live professional orchestra and the spectacular aerial effects of Flying By Foy. Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and astonishing stagecraft.

Closing weekend of Mary Poppins runs October 22-24 at THE BLACK BOX in downtown Franklin. Tickets are on sale at or by calling the box office at 508-528-3370. Patrons are invited to follow the Franklin Performing Arts Company on Facebook and Instagram ( for season updates, behind the scenes looks at their productions, and more.

Kaley Were as Mary Poppins and Clay Rice-Thomson as Bert credited to Paul Vicario
 Kaley Were as Mary Poppins and Clay Rice-Thomson as Bert (Photo credited Paul Vicario)

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