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Two-time ‘AGT’ champ Shin Lim returning to the show

Updated September 20, 2023 - 12:56 pm

Shin Lim is returning “America’s Got Talent” next week.

This season’s competitors can be assured he’s not coming back to beat them again.

Instead, the first and only two-time “AGT” champion is a guest star on the Aug. 30, during the show’s live telecasts on NBC. The “AGT” live shows begin Tuesday night, with a total of 55 acts to be featured. Lim is to be among the featured ex-champs.

The Lim-“AGT” combination has benefited the performer and the series. Lim is one of “AGT’s” great Las Vegas success stories, winning Season 13 in 2018 and also capturing the “Masters” edition in 2019. In a city teeming with magic acts, his show packs the Mirage.

Apart from his “AGT” reappearance, we’re watching how Lim handles his stage show moving into 2024. His stage partner, the forensic mentalist Colin Cloud, has headlined his own production at Edinburgh Festival Fringe (titled “After Dark,” same as Brian Newman’s returning late-night show at NoMad Library, FWIW).

Last month, a note in my column suggesting Cloud could front his own show threw a hair-raising charge into the Lim production. This was just as Cloud, an “AGT” semifinalist in 2017, was prepping for his solo run in Scotland. The two have performed together in “Limitless,” with Lim as the headliner, since 2019.

Lim is also currently shown solo in the show’s online promotional clip, with no mention of Cloud.

We expect Lim and Cloud to continue at Mirage through the end of this year. But nothing has been announced beyond ‘23.

Performing in rainy Edinburgh, Cloud posted Sunday morning, “This show was a risk. I didn’t know what the response was going to be. But after only three shows, I’m already convinced it was exactly what I was meant to be sharing at this exact moment in time.” Draw your own conclusions for this mentalist’s vision.

No dance team here

On the topic of “AGT” and its champions …

Gone unnoticed (almost) is the absence of “AGT” Season 17 champions Mayyas in the “America’s Got Talent Live!” at Luxor. This was part of the first-pride award for the 36-member, all-female, Lebanese dance troupe.

But after being announced last September for the Vegas production, plans to make Mayyas a thing have reportedly halted. The precision-dance ensemble made news by backing Beyonce in Dubai in January.

There’s been official reason, yet, as to champions’ “AGT Live” status. But the Mayyas require a lot of resources, planning, coordination, and (we understand) patience. If you think staging a 36-member international troupe of teenage dancers in a Strip production is easy, try it.

Jazzed about this

George Benson invited his friend Ronnie Foster to his show Friday night at Encore Theater. These two of course are masters of their craft, Benson as a jazz guitarist and Foster as a Hammond B3 virtuoso. Foster met Benson when Foster was just a kid and backed him for 15 years on tour and in the studio, appearing on the hit album “Breezin’.”

“He’s still killing it, at 80 years old,” the 73-year-old Foster said Sunday. “He is still an inspiration.” This was not a reunion. “We talk every two weeks,” Foster said. “We’re still very close.”

These punks rock it

These rockers dress like insurance salesmen. And after their set, you’re seeking coverage.

We speak of the punk band Pure Sport. The three-man outfit overcame, and also drowned out, four other Vegas bands to win the Life is Beautiful “Rising Stars” competition on Friday night at The Space. It’s been many a moon since yours truly rejoiced in a mosh pit, but we came close during this show.

The threesome of Jared Scott on bass, Justin Tejeda on guitar and Gage Walker on drums play Sept. 22 on LiB’s Rolling Stone Stage.

Pure Sport prevailed over more than 180 submissions. Rounding out the field of five finalists were Lennon Roach, Michael Richter, Pure Sport, Steppadelic and Viaje Nahual.

As LiB Director of Music Craig Nyman and The Space founder Mark Shunock remarked, there is so much talent in this city, we could stage rising Vegas bands regularly. Shunock’s place would be great for that.

Scott, Pure Sports’ manic lead vocalist, has entertainment in his DNA. His dad is Circa Vice President of Operations Jeff Victor, his surname appropriate on this night. So was Scott’s ecstatic response to Nyman’s announcement the band had won, “It doesn’t seem real!”

Martin, Moreno, Myron’s

On the topic of Las Vegas families in the entertainment community, Molly Martin hosts the release party for her album “Fragile,” at 7 p.m. Monday at Myron’s. A musical theater major at Syracuse University, Martin is the daughter of Smith Center President Myron Martin and former “Jubilee” principal singer Dana Rogers Martin.

Recurring Myron’s headliner Frankie Moreno hosts this event, a family fashioned party in the heart of the arts.

What Works in Vegas

The Spazmatics, stars of Cool Hang Alert just last week, and South Point Showroom for 15 years. I caught the ’80s novelty-rock band Friday night, during its friends-family, 15th-anniversary celebration. They usually play 10:30 p.m. Saturdays, a $10 cover for GA. Front man Paul Johnson (“Rock of Ages,” “Baz”) is well-suited for this act, wearing plaid shorts, a too-short tie, mismatched red blazer and taped spectacles. Around the horn its Jimmy Oleson on guitar, Darren Harkema on bass and Alex Papa on drums. All are dressed like classic ’80s spazzes.

But the musicianship is unmistakable when when they kick into “New Sensation” by INXS. Strong following, between 400-500 a night. Get there. Go to southpointlv.com for the “how” of it all.

Cool Hang Alert

Column fave and style guru Murray Sawchuck records his latest magic special at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday at South Point Showroom. This is not to be confused with his home venue, Laugh Factory at the Tropicana. Shows are open to the public, go to murraymagic.com for intel.

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 X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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