Nik Rabinowitz’s What the EFF at the Baxter Theatre My Life 12 MAR 2015

Saturday evening was a rare date night for Chantelle and myself, and having left the kids with Oupa and Ouma for the evening, we jetted off to Cape Town for the evening, pointing our nose towards my old alma mater, the University of Cape Town – lower campus and the Baxter Theatre Centre to be more specific.

IMG_20150307_185953 the baxter theatre building interior

The plan for the evening was to arrive with plenty of time on our hands in order to enjoy supper at a nearby, particularly nice ribs and steak place that Chantelle had spotted on the Internet, followed by some tummy guffaws courtesy of the usually hilarious Nik Rabinowitz.

Our car safely parked, we headed down through the Baxter, marvelled at how beautiful the building is, took a selfie, and then exited the main doors – now on Rondebosch Main Street and ready to march on towards our dinner venue!

IMG_20150307_185945 craig and chantelle lotter taking a selfie in the baxter theatre

However, after a good ten minutes or so of walking, we realized via GPS that we had in fact marched down the road in completely the wrong direction, forcing us to now hastily turn around and march the other way – which needless to say put a rather serious crimp on our carefully planned time management for the night!

But things were about to get worse. We reached the ribs place only to find that the Internet had seemingly lied to us – this was no nice sit down restaurant, oh no. Heck, it had plastic red and white checkered table cloths and a fast food ordering station for goodness sake!

Luckily, the section of Main Road that we now found ourselves on doesn’t exactly suffer from a shortage of eating establishments, even if most seem geared towards the student crowd, and of particular interest to the two of us was the swanky sounding The Hussar Grill – perfect for a date night meal for two!

Sadly though, it was small, cramped and rather full. So full that we were turned away. Sigh.

So with time now very short, a snap decision was made, and we found ourselves seated down outside Cocoa Wah Wah, where the food wasn’t particularly bad and service in the end was pretty snappy. (We both had burgers in order to speed things up.)

Thus, with the food part of the evening now done and dusted, it was on to the main event for the evening!

From the Baxter website:

“It’s hard to live in South Africa for more than five minutes without looking around in wide-eyed bewilderment, and asking: What the EFF?.

Whether it’s hippies rubbing their chords together to produce solar energy, militants marching into parliament in Pep Store overalls and Italian shoes, or taxi drivers who manage to simultaneously cut you off and flip you the bird while paging through the newspaper and counting their money… at some point in every day, you will say: What the EFF?.

Fortunately, Nik Rabinowitz is here to answer that question. Or maybe not answer it, so much as shake it a bit, and see what falls out.

From the leafy green ganglands of Constantia, to the imaginary book storage lockers of Limpopo, Rabinowitz casts his eye far and wide, and muses: What the EFF?.

And if politics isn’t your cup of tea, there’s plenty of other ridiculousness that’ll have you shaking your head, and clutching your sides.

This show is 100% vegan and eco-friendly, and made up of 10% recycled material and 15% up cycled jokes. No punch lines were tested on animals. Bring your own canvas bag.

nik rabinowitz what the eff show

Right.

Neither Chantelle nor I had in fact ever been to a show at the Baxter Theater, and now that I have I most certainly will go there again. What a lovely venue! Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

The opening act was a young African comedian by the name of… well actually I don’t really remember his name so that’s a bit of a pity. Still, his racially charged comedy was humorous and his skill with the guitar excellent, making for a good start to the evening.

That then led into our favourite Xhosa-speaking Jewish comedian Nik Rabinowitz taking to the stage, a man I last saw in action a good six years ago!

Sadly for me this time around though, I just didn’t find the majority of his comedy and social commentary very funny – in fact, apart from the occasional chuckle here and there, the show was more than just a little bit on the boring and unfunny side for the two of us – so much so that Chantelle even managed to doze off for a bit! (Seriously, if you doze off at a comedy show then you know something isn’t quite right!)

Despite it’s good premise, the show is a bit lazy and loose, not really tying all the elements together very well and lacking in… well a punch lines to be fair. Yes, of course Nik’s accents and characters are all brilliant as usual, but unless they’re saying something witty or funny, well then that alone only takes you so far I’m afraid.

Honestly, we were glad when the show was over and we could spill out into the cool evening air. Neither of us had enjoyed it, in fact, so much so that we both kind of felt that we had just wasted a whole lot of money which could have been far better spent on the evening – like at The Hussar Grill for example! ;)

Anyway, to cap off what in the end had a bit of a disappointing date night out, we arrived back at our car, only to find that some idiot had parked their SUV right up against the driver’s side of our Hyundai Accent.

So it was some jean pant gymnastics for me to enter through the passenger’s side and make it across to the driver’s seat then – honestly, Chantelle should have left a lipstick message for the uncouth lout!

And that was that – other than the long drive home of course…

(Oh, and seeing as this was now the second strike out in terms of seeing comedy at a theater (Robert Fridjhon’s Wild also let us down a bit), we think we might take a little break from this genre for a while…)

Related Link: http://www.baxter.co.za/shows/what-the-eff/

About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.