Nik Rabinowitz’s uNik on Broadway General Nonsense | My Life | My Reviews 09 JUN 2009

Nik Rabinowitz ComedianChantelle and I gave ourselves a nice treat last night by heading out for an evening of Nik Rabinowitz at the On Broadway theatre, a venue that neither of us had experienced before but a comedian that we most definitely have!

Despite my bumbling attempts at navigation in terms of reading off a GPS (she wanted to throttle me again *sniff* *sniff*), Chantelle managed to find the smallish On Broadway theatre situated on 88 Short Market Street without any major difficulties (well its blue neon-lighted outline certainly helps, as does the fact that it is literally across the road from the Linde jewellers that we are using for our wedding rings), making it just in time for the dinner session to boot!

The venue itself is beautifully decorated in a very intimate, dimly-lit fashion with blues and blacks as its main colour theme, and the large number of tables with patrons squeezed in fairly close together works wonderfully in the venue’s favour, creating a very close-knit, appreciative audience-like experience. Somehow we managed to end up with one of the best tables in the venue, essentially in the second row and just a little to the left of the intimate elevated stage platform. (Still not sure how we managed that, but it certainly was pretty awesome to have such a good view of the show!)

We we served by a wondrous waitress who despite having an ass that one could park a car on (horrible I know, but unfortunately very true and despite ourselves, a talking point for the evening), flitted and floated between the bustling tables with the most gracious of ease. She kept us watered and provided some simply sumptuous food from On Broadways’ varied but nice and simple menu that manages to cater for just about everyone’s taste, but at the same time keeps it well and truly down in the affordable range, meaning that everyone can enjoy to their heart’s content without worrying about breaking the piggy bank after the show.

Eventually the already dim lighting finally gave away and the energetic Mr. Nik Rabinowitz leapt into the limelight, launching into his hilarious varied persona-based act, aptly titled uNik (a clever play on words if you give it some thought and remember he is our very own Xhosa-speaking Jewish boy).

(And if by this point you still don’t know who I’m talking about, here’s some text from the show description: Nik was awarded the SA Comedy Award of the Year (2008) and is hailed as one of the best comedians in the Autonomous Chinese People’s Republic of South Africa. Nik was raised on the mean, green streets of Plumstead West, a world of ride-by shootings, piano lessons and constant unrelenting love and financial support from family members. He never quite recovered from seeing 12 clay pigeons brutally gunned down before his very own eyes on the Constantia Green Belt in 1987, and today he continues to campaign for the rights of sitting ducks, Patricia de Lille and other small defenseless animals. But he’s not alone. Joining Nik are four unique alter-egos, including Gugs glamour girl Portia van Zyl-Smith-Mvelaphanda, and the Sultana of Sea Point, Beryl Rosenberg (as in female Sultan, not as in small shrivelled old raisin). There, that should help.)

Unfortunately for me, a lot of his jokes and punchlines were the same ones he had used in his Comedy Heavyweights appearance that I attended earlier in the year, meaning that I didn’t laugh quite so hard second time around, but for the most part he had the audience in absolute stitches, even when he flitted around hand-in-hand with some quite racially and religiously-charged material that would most certainly have most die-hard bible bashers or equality activists up in arms within the first few minutes of his show! Disappointingly however, he did punch out a lot more swear words in this show than the one back at Grand West Arena, something which to me just lessons the quality of his jokes and accents because quite frankly, anyone can swear and simply put it’s not really that funny.

Despite this however (and agreed, it is a personal quibble), the man’s easy transitions through a variety of cultures, languages and costumes are as amazing as always and with some clever insights and caricatures of our cultural differences combined with some sneaky word play and extremely natural-sounding accents, Nik Rabinowitz is undoubtedly one of SA’s best comics, certainly worthy of each and every one of the awards that he has racked up since launching his act so many years ago.

The set lasted for just over an hour and the man was certainly very entertaining, well worth the reasonable ticket price and certainly a comic we’ll be keen on supporting again when he dreams up his next show. (Especially if it features more of Agnes and Patience refereeing a rugby match! Bold and the Beautiful indeed! :D)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.