Fans know Jeff Goldblum as the eccentric, motormouthed star of such indelible films as The Fly, Jurassic Park, and Independence Day. But there is another side to the actor’s personality, one that emerges through the jazz shows he’s been performing in on a nearly weekly basis since the ’90s. Together with a small ensemble called The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, named after a Goldblum family friend, the actor gigs regularly at a Los Angeles nightspot called Rockwell. In this venue, the Hollywood star becomes a full-fledged lounge lizard, bantering with the crowd at length between songs. Musically, Goldblum limits himself to the piano, allowing the professional musicians onstage to steer the songs. Otherwise, the star’s personality dominates the proceedings. Recently, on his official Facebook account, Goldblum live-streamed a typical Mildred Snitzer show. The 90-minute performance is still available to watch, and it offers some insight into an under-reported aspect of the celebrity’s career. Clearly, this is no Jekyll/Hyde or even Ron Swanson/Duke Silver scenario. Goldblum’s persona onstage is much like the characters he plays in films: garrulous, enthusiastic, smart, and skewed.
Much of the talk in this video centers around the upcoming Independence Day sequel, in which Goldblum will reprise the role of David Levinson. Director Roland Emmerich himself is in the audience, and Goldblum occasionally defers to him on matters of Independence Day trivia. In most live scenarios, the between-song chatter is merely the shoe leather holding the songs together. Here, it’s the opposite. The crowd is on hand for Goldblum, and the actor does not disappoint. He behaves like someone doing an expert Goldblum impression, jumping from one topic to the next and pausing at odd, unexpected junctures in his speech, as if his brain were generating thoughts faster than his mouth can convert them into words. It’s an intimate, loosely structured, and deeply casual show.