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FABULOUS LAS VEGAS

Because Toby Keith trumps Cirque du Soleil, one of the longest unbroken work-attendance streaks on the Strip has come to an end.

Annie Wilkins’ run of 6,511 consecutive performances at “Mystere” at Treasure Island was finally interrupted on Sept. 8 by the burly, jingoistic crossover star’s show at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Wilkins is the director of props at “Mystere,” a job she has held for 14 years, since before the show even opened in 1994. Wilkins repaired and prepared props as scheduled for every “Mystere” show in the production’s history until Keith blew into town a few weeks ago.

“I took an out night,” Wilkins’ said in a phone interview last week. “I got tickets for my birthday, which was Aug. 17, and I couldn’t miss it.”

Wilkins owes her streak to a considerable dose of good fortune. Every major event in her life – the weddings, the funerals, the booming concerts of larger-than-life recording stars – have always fallen when the show is dark. “My 20-year class reunion, the 25-year reunion of ‘Hello, Hollywood’ (Wilkins worked for that production prior to joining ‘Mystere’), I’ve never missed anything,” she said.

In line with the show’s breaks, Wilkins receives two weeks off in January, one in May and one in September. “And I just don’t get sick – I’m knocking on wood as I say that,” she said.

Was the Keith show worth ending the streak?

“Oh, yeah,” she said. “It was loud, but thoroughly enjoyable. Very patriotic. The crowd was from 9 to 95. I sort of hated to do it, but at some point you have to take an out day. It’s inevitiable.”

**

PL8 in my head: A gasoline/honey hybrid? VGSPOOH on a silver Saturn Vue.

Fabulous Las Vegas appears at this Web site. John Katsilometes can be reached at 990-7720, 812-9812 or at john.katsilometes@gmgvegas.com

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