Tall and gangly, with an impish grin and generous ears, Nik Rabinowitz is immediately hilarious. Bending over to address those who chose front row seats, he asks them, seriously, “Now whose kak idea was this?”
On Wednesday evening I had the jolly pleasure of viewing comedian Nik Rabinowitz’s brand new act, Stand and Deliver at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch. I’d never seen him live but my father and I are huge fans of his comedy news segment on Cape Talk Radio, The Week that Wasn’t, on Friday mornings.
The show opened with new-comer, Tats Nkonzo, who has also opened for Loyiso Gola and Eddie Eckstein recently. His act is young and fresh, and he surprised the audience with his great vocals and his confidence. It can’t be easy opening for a local favourite like Rabinowitz, but Nkonzo had us crying with laughter from the first strum of his guitar.
When Rabinowitz, a UCT Business graduate and father of two, strode onto the stage, the audience giggled and applauded madly. He’s completely at home in front of an audience, and it’s clear that he gets a kick from entertaining people. There’s a part where he refers back to his school days at a Waldorf school in Cape Town. Hearing his hippy-surfer accent, I had a flash of what it must have been like to have him in your classroom back in the day. Hysterically cheeky and unforgivingly blunt, I’ll bet his teachers rued the day he walked through their doors.
Rabinowitz grew up on a farm, and being white, Jewish and Xhosa-speaking, he’s the sort of everyman South Africans love to relate to. What’s refreshing is that while he uses the folks in the front row he doesn’t terrorise them – a relief not only for those poor souls but for everyone else in the audience too. His encounters with MPs and celebrities give his act a personal feel that is sometimes lacking on the regular comedy circuit.
Comedy is always best when it’s relevant, and the social commentary in Stand and Deliver is rife with jibes at every demographic. I must say that I was hoping Rabinowitz would showcase more of his talent with accents, or give us more insight into his world of parenting, but I suppose for the sake of those who have seen him before he kept it light and fresh. Only about an hour in length, the show could also have had another 20 minutes to it, but otherwise it’s smartly funny and a great night out.
Have a coffee afterwards at the Baxter’s restaurant to chat about your favourite parts. Nik Rabinowitz is the best-looking clown around and his show is just what the Cape Doctor ordered. A summer riot!
Nik Rabinowitz’s Stand and Deliver runs at the Baxter Theatre until 14 January 2012.
See what else is on in Rondebosch