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Live Review: Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra @ Lincoln Theatre — 5/30/24

Jeff Goldblum is a charmer. Whether it’s in the many roles he has played in movies or on Broadway or even as the leader of the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra — named after a friend of his mother’s — he has a way of disarming even the most practiced curmudgeon. And on Thursday night at a crowded Lincoln Theatre, Goldblum and his jazz band spun charm into some real magic.

Things started off, well, unexpectedly, as Goldblum walked onstage to chat with the crowd, as some noticed what was going on and hurried to their seats. “Okay, Lincoln Theatre, look at you,” Goldblum greeted the audience on May 30. Acting as the evening’s, emcee, he went on, “Unlike Vito Corleone on the day of his daughter’s wedding, I can’t refuse a request or a question I have to answer every little thing,” as he took questions from the crowd before his band came up to join him.

It’s rare to see an artist connect with an audience, taking selfies with fans, and play a bit of movie trivia (including a kind of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon) to boot. In addition to some announcements of upcoming theatrical releases, Goldblum said that the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra’s fourth album would be released in February.

After warming up the crowd, the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra took to the stage and started off as Goldblum sat at the piano. The Orchestra — which includes John Storie on guitar, Alex Frank on bass, Joe Bagg on organ, James King on sax and flute, Scott Gilman on sax, and Ryan Shaw on drums — jumped like a well-oiled machine, gliding through standards like “Moon River” and “My Baby Just Cares For Me.”

Jeff Goldblum with Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim

Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra always has a guest vocalist, and this time around it was LA-based singer Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, who came out swinging.

But the unspoken member of the band became the audience as Goldblum made the evening a participatory event.

So many concert events can feel passive. There’s the artist who is playing to the audience, but Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra played with the crowd, making it feel like a party in a friend’s living room.

I think we learned a lot about the movies, while Goldblum learned about DC and, in particular where to find the best half smokes in town (for the record, the resounding answer was Ben’s Chili Bowl next door).

Even when things began their slow, inevitable conclusion, there was a sense of fun and joy in the air.

Watch the official music video of “Cantaloupe Island (Live)” by Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra on YouTube:

Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra wrap up their tour with a few shows in New York City in July.

Here are more photos of Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra performing at the Lincoln Theatre on May 30, 2024. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.