Theatre Review: You can’t be serious- Nik Rabinowitz

Posted: December 29, 2010 in Theatre & Event Reviews and Interviews
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You Can’t be Serious review by ASTRID STARK.  Written and Directed by Brent Palmer.  Starring Nik Rabinowitz.  Baxter Golden Arrow Studio Theatre until 15 January. Tuesdays to Fridays at 8:15pm and on Saturdays at 6pm and 8:30pm

First published in The Cape Times

The master of impersonation and thigh slapping stand-up comedy is back with a hot new show that doesn’t disappoint.  Nik Rabinowitz breathlessly whizzes through the highs and lows that characterized 2010, both in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and abroad.  And no-one is spared. Jews, Christians and Muslims all get a funny stick poked into their sensitive ribs as he unapologetically exposes their idiosyncrasies. Being Jewish, he does spend a lot of time teasing himself, which in return justifies his giggle bomb attacks on other religions and races.      

Of course a good deal of laughter is spent on President Zuma’s list of 2010 misadventures.  Rabinowitz comments on the prez’s recent trip to Cuba during which he wrote off Cuba’s R1billion debt to South Africa. In return, says Rabinowitz, Zuma received two bags of tobacco leaves and 12 virgins to roll the tobacco on their thighs. In addition to the debt write-off, Rabinowitz says the prez has thrown in two of his wives, 11 kids, and the corresponding amount of grandchildren, oh and some garden furniture and a lifetime supply of baby oil.   Mugabe gets a thorough beating with the funny stick and even our beloved Tutu doesn’t get away un-mocked.   

Rabinowitz is rapidly establishing himself as the master of impersonation when it comes to South African accents.  His Tutu voice is spot on and hilarious. But it is really the Bok coach Pieter de Villiers’ accent that had the audience roaring.  Rabinowitz can slip from a Tutu cackle to a husky Helen Zille growl, to his bitchy kugel black girl friend from Joburg’s nasal draw – in seconds. 

Rabinowitz can also be heard on Cape Talk’s Redi Thlapi show on most Fridays. He presents a slot called ‘The Week That Wasn’t’ and it is always a hilarious take on the week’s happenings.    And it is free. Gratis.  The man works hard at perfecting his craft but he is obviously having a rip-roaring time of it as well; which is infectious. It’s one thing being entertained by a consummate professional.  The super-sized cherry on top is watching him do it with so much joy.  We just love someone that loves what they are doing.  Besides, South Africa’s comical politicians and public figures are simply handing the sushi humour to him served on nubile models.  I am sure Rabinowitz doesn’t have to stretch the truth, or tinker with the facts, too much as the daily shenanigans in this country reads like a comedy script anyway.  And with the disturbing news of President Zuma deciding following through with his lawsuit against satirical cartoonist Zapiro for his ‘Lady Justice cartoon’, it is good to see artists still fearlessly hold  public figures accountable for their actions that in some way or another will affect all of us.

However, Rabinowitz says it’s not all fun and games and that he has a factory of 11-year-old kids in his comedy sweatshop in Limpopo hard at work, day and night, crafting his fart jokes and one-liners.  

Rabinowitz’s performance is slicker and sharper than ever before.  You really have to pay attention so as not to miss double meanings, subtle insinuations, and the multi-layered metaphors that he shoots out at full velocity.  His humour is still very easily accessible and will appeal to our entire rainbow nation.  Opening night certainly looked and sounded like the perfect demographic slice of South Africa.

The first round of tickets has been sold out.  Additional nights from 11-15 January has been added, but I am sure they will be scooped up in no time, so be quick if you want to see the Nik.

Tickets cost from R100 to R120.  Book via or call 0839158000.



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