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Arts & Culture

‘Poppins’ Prop Master Has A Big Challenge With Each Show

Bill Slezak Makes Sure 'Spoonful Of Sugar' Is Never Missing
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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – “The devil is in the details” might just be the motto for the prop master of “Mary Poppins” the musical.

The show opens at the Buell Theater Wednesday and CBS4 Critic At Large Greg Moody went behind the scenes to see the man behind the magic of getting the props in the proper spot for each performance.

“With the entire props package, it’s about 4,000 items,” prop master Bill Slezak told Moody. “They’re always in the right place at the right time. I have one assistant who travels with me on the show and then we have four local people who also work with us in each local city.

“That’s how we keep everything in line and where it needs to be at all times. My alternate responsibility is to take much sure everything is where it’s supposed to be at all times.”

With 4,000 props, you can bet a few get dinged along the way. Slezak is also responsible for making sure all of them are perfect — from the antiques to the reproductions but especially the most expensive prop of all: the dog puppet who steals the show.

“Willoughby, the dog in the show, he has some Disney magic so he is quite expensive,” Slezak said.

But having each perfect prop creates magic all across the stage and touches the audience.

“They add the authenticity of the show, it gives the actors something to hold onto and the audience to see,” said Slezak. “It really helps to tell the story.”

And telling that story brings all the magic of Mary Poppins to life and fills up the Buell.

“Mary Poppins” plays at the Buell Theatre May 1 through May 5.

LINK: Denver Center ‘Mary Poppins’ Ticket Info

RELATED: Mary Poppins Keeps Audiences Singing

- Greg Moody is CBS4’s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the CBSDenver.com Entertainment section.

- Also, don’t miss Moody’s entertaining bio, his Top Spots in Denver lists, and his frequently updated Moody’s Picks page.

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