Nik stands up for comedy
TRI-LINGUAL motormouth Nik Rabinowitz is much like the Maria the nuns in The Sound of Music sang about: “How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?”
He sat down for a chat with The Good Weekend this week, slightly distracted, and answered questions in his expected manner: that it’s-soobvious-it’s-funny way.
He’s in for a long haul at the Baxter Theatre. His new show, titled Stand Up, opened this week and runs until January 11.
He was last there with Stand and Deliver during December 2011 and January last year.
The radio and stage funny man has new life experience to draw on. He is a father to two sons, Ben, 4, and Adam, 19.
Rabinowitz’s answers sound obvious but cryptic at the same time. We asked him about why he had returned to the Baxter for a long season.
“It’s amnesia. I forgot how long it was. I only remember the good parts of performing for a long time. They also said I have to. I need to be in close proximity to Marc Lottering (who is performing in Scrooge over this period). He stocks his dressing room with good s***, Johnny Walker Blue,” he says.
A preview of Stand Up showed him touching on his parenting, something I would love to see more of, over political commentary.
“New stuff has happened. The kids are older. As parents, you age exponentially. I started preparing this show a little earlier, I started in May. I’m a lot more confident with the material. I hope it is on another level from my previous one.”
However, Rabinowitz is not a stickler for scripts. At the preview, he located a group of elderly people from Sea Point in the audience. He let rip.
“It depends on who is in front of me. Audience members can be the perfect fodder for messing with. I am exploring improvising a little more. It’s exciting to see what happens… with an old-age home, they are probably half-deaf and would have to translate my jokes to each other. That is pretty workable.”
You would think that a long run show like this might keep him away from his loved ones; Rabinowitz thinks otherwise.
“This keeps me with my family more. I would normally be travelling more. It is just a couple of hours in the evening, it doesn’t feel that busy.”
Rabinowitz is regularly heard on his Friday morning radio slot on 567 CapeTalk, The Week That Wasn’t. This can be challenging for a stand- up, needing to have fresh material for broadcast every week.
“Comedy on radio is different to having a live audience. The material is more political and satirical in nature. I have taken radio stuff and workshopped it for stand- up. CapeTalk’s listenership is very tuned-in. In a theatre I use broad brush strokes.”
Last week, he had to share his radio slot with Pieter-Dirk Uys.
“Making Pieter-Dirk Uys laugh is terrifying. I was seven when I was doing Pieter-Dirk Uys impersonations.”
The celebrity fun doesn’t stop there, though. Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille usually comes to his show opening and Western Cape premier Helen Zille has been known to attend, too.
He is considering doing praise singing for De Lille as an Afrikaans rapper.
“Patty is gevaarlik, Patty is woes,” he teased (“Patty is dangerous, Patty is angry”).
● Stand Up is at the Baxter Concert Hall Tuesdays to Fridays at 8.30pm and Saturdays at 9pm. His New Year’s Eve show will start at 10pm. Tickets cost from R130 to R150 and the New Year’s Eve show costs R210.