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Dry White: Nik Rabinowitz

11th January 19

Laura Davidson

Nik Rabinowitz has returned to the Baxter Theatre with his warmup act Lindy Johnson from Paarl. Johnson was, as ever, rather amusing - but she could do with some new material, as I'd heard it all before. Frustratingly, Rabinowitz was himself afflicted by this initially, with a slightly weak start using old material. However, he recovered well: he sweeps the audience this way and that with his carefully scripted, but beautifully delivered pacey insights on life, love, religion and politics.
In this wildly confusing age of technological advances and political correctness (for example, his wit is turned against confabulating gender terminology), the comedian punctuates his satirical commentary with linguistic gymnastics. Millennial-speak with puns a-plenty was introduced to one unfortunate septuagenarian sitting too close to the front row, who was advised to be more "WOKE".

In a previous review, I commented that Rabinowitz never pushes boundaries very far - but I had a sense of an undercurrent of change in this show; he wasn’t afraid to take a few risks, with a robust lack of apology for his left-leaning white privilege. The comedy is distinctly South African, with bold topics such as land-grabs causing a smattering of embarrassed titters amongst the largely pale-faced audience. Rabinowitz is a master of accents and utilises both Xhosa and Afrikaans. On lighter topics, we’re told tales of mistaken identity, and taken on a flight of fancy with respect to the origin of koeksisters. Listen hard for the smart one-liner on Rabinowitz’s dating history. There are undertones of the mid-life crisis in his thoughts on celebrity crushes and the grass-being-greener, and he waxes lyrical on mistaken identity. As ever, the comedian makes good comic use of his Jewish heritage. Another obvious topical focus is the Cape Town drought – at what point did each audience member gingerly cast aside the shower bucket, he queries?

Much more understated than his recent show, ‘Fortyfied’, and less slapstick and visual than the glitzy ‘Power Struggle’, ‘Dry White’ is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through Rabinowitz’s chirpy mind. His mirth is very catchy and his delivery top-notch. This is my third review of the comedian since my arrival in Cape Town, and I’m always happy to keep going back for more. The theatre could have been fuller, but it was clear that everyone went away feeling they’d got their money’s worth. Rabinowitz’s wry musings are a delight. Don’t miss them.

Dates: 18th December 2018 to 12th January 2019

Times: 20:30 - 22:15

Tickets: R120 - R150

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