BWW Review: Mid-life Crises and Laughs About Life in LATE BLOOMER with Nik Rabinowitz
I've always felt that the mark of a good comedian is the ability to have a common thread of jokes throughout a set. It's the best part of watching stand up - when they create punchlines out of earlier stories - and this is something that Nik Rabinowitz does pretty well in his latest offering: LATE BLOOMER. I particularly enjoyed the series of "What? Nothing. What? You heard me." jokes that kept cropping up (you'll get it when you see the show).
Another thing Rabinowitz does well is find brilliant characters within his audience. I don't know how he managed to find a pair of Afrikaans Jews sitting in the audience. They were hilarious and Rabinowitz worked with them really well. On Saturday night, we were also quite lucky to have a few of the people he was actually talking about in the audience. This made some of the stories feel quite real and even funnier. Rabinowitz really does know how to work with an audience and interact with individuals without picking on them too much or making the rest of the audience feel excluded at all.
The themes of LATE BLOOMER are fairly typical for Rabinowitz' style of comedy. He talks about what he knows - things that are happening in his life now. At 43, he is now hitting topics like mid-life crises, receding hairlines and whether or not they should pack up their lives and move to Lithuania. These were all pretty relatable to an audience that was largely in their 30s and up, and all handled in his usual irreverent manner, which I love. He swears a lot, he talks about sex and blow jobs, he's properly self-deprecating - and it all speaks to my sense of humour.
The one part of the show that I didn't enjoy so much was the section where he spoke about an incident where he found himself running around Table Mountain, looking for someone who was feeling suicidal. It's not that I particularly have an issue with the topic being part of a comedy show, although something as serious as suicide does need to be handled carefully. I just felt that it wasn't properly developed. The jokes were almost there in this section and needed to be thought out just a bit more.
The set was great fun though and quite unexpected in a stand-up comedy show. I'm used to an empty stage with maybe a chair and a mic stand, or if they want to branch out, a table with water on it. The giant flowers that could've been stolen from the set of the Teletubbies (his joke, not mine) were fabulous.
All in all, it's a good night out. Nik Rabinowitz knows how to interact with his audience and how to deliver a punch line. It might just be prudent to remember that this is not something you probably want to watch with your teenaged kids - send them to go watch it another night.
Photo credit: Supplied
LATE BLOOMER is on at the Baxter Concert Hall until 14 December. Tickets range from R140 to R180. Bookings can be made at Webtickets or in selected Pick n Pay stores. Please note that there is an age restriction of 14.