Among Shin Lim’s magic inspirations are David Copperfield and Lance Burton. Not just for their illusionist skills, either, but for their ZIP codes.
Lim has long wanted to headline a real residency in Las Vegas. It’s happening, as the two-time “America’s Got Talent” champion and sleight-of-hand artist is moving into the old-school model, while settling into The Mirage for a long-term run.
“For me, I have always kind of dreamed of this opportunity, because touring can be hard for a magic show and Copperfield and Burton have had residencies here,” Lim said Thursday, a day after MGM Resorts International announced “Limitless,” the show Lim performs along with mentalist Colin Cloud will be extended through June 2020 (tickets start at $39.99, on sale now at mgmresorts.com/mirage or ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-963-9634 or 702-792-777).
Lim’s fresh set of dates dates begin Jan. 31, and run Thursdays through Sundays the following six months. Lim opened at the Terry Fator Theater on May 31, just after claiming “The Champions” title among former “AGT” finalists on the NBC contest show.
In July, Lim announced his first contract extension, carrying him from October through December. Fator and Boyz II Men will continue to rotate as headliners in the theater named for Fator a decade ago.
“It’s great to be full-time in Las Vegas, in a single room, and really settle in,” said Lim, partnering with Cloud, as the two entertainers previously worked together in “The Illusionists” on Broadway last November and December. “You can really focus on a show when you are in one spot, and we have really managed to work out the kinks at the Mirage.”
Lim is a sleight-of-hand specialist, well-known for his work with playing cards. Cloud is billed as a “forensic mind-reader.” Meaning, he has not claimed to be a psychic medium, but does sort through a person’s mannerisms and behaviors, picking up telltale clues as if an exaggerated version of Sherlock Holmes.
Thus, Cloud’s performance is an ideal complement to Lim’s close-up magic, which plays out onstage on black felt and also on the theater’s LED panels.
“We go on, one after the other, and after I do 45 minutes of fooling you visually, Colin will fool you mentally for about 30-35 minutes,” Lim said. “We really contrast each other so well that the audience actually gets two shows.”
Lim married his longtime girlfriend, Casey Thomas, in August. The two plan to move to Las Vegas by the end of the year. Lim is also developing new numbers in the production.
“I’m revamping about half the acts I do, and I’ll have a bunch of new stuff, a little more stylized and bigger,” Lim said. Asked for some specifics, the magic master laughed and said, “Not so much stuff on the table, and no boxes.”
No, if Lim has proven anything, he’s a Las Vegas resident finished with living out of boxes.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram