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Shin Lim survives COVID shuffle to star at The Mirage

Updated July 14, 2021 - 8:23 pm

A lot of folks gained weight during COVID. Shin Lim gained a showroom.

The two-time “America’s Got Talent” champion is now the main player at Mirage Theater, as previous headliner Terry Fator has moved south to New York-New York. Lim has gone to work on the venue leading to his reopening of “Limitless”on July 1. There are new video screens at the back of the stage, which is bordered by bright-red casino dice.

Fancy, very Vegas, but this show is a spectacle laden with big effects. Lim is not launched across the theater by a bungee contraption, or fastened into a harness and hoisted over the stage.

“It’s just the piano and the chair,” Lim says. “That’s as many props as we’ll get.” Anyone who followed Lim’s two victorious runs on “AGT” knows his story. He’s a classically trained pianist, but dropped the instrument after suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. But he can work effortlessly with a deck of cards — he’s adept at “cardistry” manipulation — and can still play short pieces on the keys.

“My new act is actually playing piano and doing magic at the same time,” Lim says. “It’s very difficult. I don’t know why I put myself through it, to be honest.”

He says the song he’s chosen is “easy” on his hands. The piano-magic approach is new for him, and rarely performed in a magic show.

Lim is also blocking time for his pre-pandemic co-star, mentalist Colin Cloud. His time is being tightened to account for Lim’s new acts. The magician says he spent almost his entire time in lockdown watching the news, not working, practicing patience ahead of magic.

“When I finally saw there was a slight chance I was going to come back, I started working on a new show,” Lim says. “This is something that I really want.”

We’ve spoken over the past few years about why Vegas is so popular among magicians. Lim considers the question, again, while sitting on the edge of his stage.

“Maybe it’s the cards,” the 29-year-old magician says. “Because gambling and cards. I don’t know. It could be that. Or it could be that Vegas has this type of mysterious feel to it, which draws a lot of magicians.”

Simple stuff from a magic headliner who, we feel, is just getting started.

The Lynx effect

Savannah Lynx hadn’t sung professionally until the summer of 2019, when she was signed as a swing in “Fantasy” at Luxor. She moved on to Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, singing along with Skye Dee Miles through the June 2020 reopening.

When RRL closed in January, Lynx was left without a gig. But not for long.

Lynx is onstage at Delilah at Wynn Las Vegas for Wednesday’s opening night. She also performed Thursday and Friday in the venue’s preview-party run.

Delilah music director and bassist Ryan Cross summoned Lynx to perform at least through the Delilah launch.

“I thought, ‘This has my name written all over it,’ because I love the old-Hollywood glam,” Lynx says. “That movie-star theme is who I am at the core.”

Lynx visited the Delilah club in L.A. when she lived in Santa Monica, Calif. She and the core band of Cross, keyboardist Chris Cadenhead and drummer Terry Wesley have swung through “jazz-eclectic”arrangement of “One Dance” by Drake, Ella Fitzgerald’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like A Star.”

Lynx also fronts a rock band, with Cadenhead and Wesley in the lineup, at Barbershop at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. “The rock stuff gives us a great balance,” Lynx says. “But at Delilah, it’s very Jessica Rabbit. I love it.”

Great Moments in Social Media

Column fave, trumpet great and Lady Gaga bandleader Brian Newman and his burlesque-star wife, Angie Pontani, have something up their sleeves. Metaphorically, anyway. The couple posted a clip on Instagram on Monday from their home in Brooklyn, teasing an announcement Thursday.

No confirmation on what this announcement is, but we’re anticipating this will be the return of Newman’s “After Dark” series to NoMad Library. That’s the new name of NoMad Restaurant. Gaga had referred to the venue as “a library” when she appeared with Newman in 2019, a reference to the 25,000-book David Rockefeller library set inside the room.

If we’re right, we’ll see Newman at the Library by the fall. If not, it’s a road trip to New York.

Cool Hang Alert

If you want Strip lounges to avoid being locked like condemned storage sheds, show up and support column fave Rhythm & Riffs at Mandalay Bay. The lounge has returned to weekend programming, with Mission to Rock on Friday and the Patrick Sieben Band on Saturday. The shows run 10 p.m.-2 a.m., no cover, dancing encouraged.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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