Danielle Dorky attends one of Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra’s infamously jazzy stage shows.
As I took him in on stage, bespectacled in clear frames, clad in a well-tailored, slim-fitting suit, his salt and pepper hair buzzed in a somehow sexy crew cut, I realized something: Jeff Goldblum is a hipster. And to top it off, an irresistibly charismatic one.
I certainly never thought of him as such when I was being traumatized by his remake of The Fly at an impressionable age five, or while snickering at his pithy one-liners as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park; but as he scat(ted?) indecipherably into the microphone, and bated the audience with “F*ck, marry, kill” dilemmas during song breaks, the realization struck me all the same.
It took me a moment to recognize him on stage when I first arrived. DBA Hollywood was dimly lit in hues of purple and red, and I at first mistook Jeff Goldblum for an emcee warming up the crowd. As the host led us to our seats, I could see that it was in fact him, looking just as awkwardly enticing as ever, glancing down at a cumbersome notebook and stuttering jokes.
“Alright, alright,” he shushed the audience, “Who can tell me what line this movie is from?
“But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”
“Dead Poet’s Society!” some too-eager nerd called out.
Jeff’s face lit up with the enthusiasm of a kindergarten teacher. “Who said that? Raise your hand!”
The band began to wake up, the saxophonist playing a long, yawning note while the drummer tapped his sticks sparingly. Setting down his glass, Jeff ambled into the front row, crooning all the while, beckoning guests to sing with him.
He convinced a spritely young fellow to join him, but first teased him with semi-crude jokes, seemingly torturing the good-natured volunteer. Of course, shortly afterwards we learned that the entire charade had been just that, and that the suspiciously attractive stranger was in fact a skilled vocalist.
Jeff sidled behind the piano and the band came alive with a familiar, though I couldn’t tell you the name of it, jazz cover. Every now and then Jeff would lean in to add his own smooth, almost-baritone vocals to the mix. The saxophonist wandered off stage and through the crowd, lungs never wavering. Just as audience members were beginning to shoulder shimmy and rise from their seats, the song wrapped.
No sooner, Jeff had launched into another monologue and the temporary lead vocalist had vanished.
That shtick was successfully pulled off several more times throughout the evening, once with a Marion Cotillard-favoring brunette, and less convincingly so with a high-cheekboned, actor-looking type.
During the intermission Jeff greeted and took pictures with audience members. An unfortunately timed restroom break almost caused me to miss it, but luckily I was able to snag a photo before he could slink out.
My vision seemed to blur with crazed fandom. I’m sure Jeff was making polite conversation, but I couldn’t tell you what was said. I attempted to calm my shit-eating smile for the photo, but it proved impossible with him squeezing my shoulder to some unknown rhythm, and then swinging me around to clasp my other hand in a dancing pose. I’ll tell you this: Jeff Goldblum smells like hundred-year-old French cognac, a freshly shampooed infant’s head, and a dense cedar forest, all at the same time.
Jeff schmoozed with the audience until just after midnight, never losing pace. My personal highlight was Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra’s rendition of the George Michael hit “Careless Whisper”, which recently rose to renewed notoriety in the Sexy Sax Man prank.
As much fun as I had at Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra’s performance, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. If you’re looking for a cut-and-dry jazz concert, look elsewhere. If you’re not enamored by Jeff Goldblum’s goofy charm and devilishly good looks, it might be wise to pass. However, if the idea of being serenaded by the enigmatic screen legend in improvised song and jest draws you, you’ll find Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra well worth the ticket price.
Photo credit: Jonathan Haloossim