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In velvet bootcut pants and a sleek black fedora, Jeff Goldblum took to the stage at Campbell Hall on Saturday evening as part of the UCSB Arts & Lectures fall series. Accompanied by The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, he entertained the audience with comedy gold, innovative games, advice for directors and actors, and masterful piano playing.
Starting with onstage theatre, the Pittsburgh-born actor most famously starred in the 1993 hit “Jurassic Park.” Since marrying Emilie Livingston in 2014, the two have had two sons, Charlie and River. More recently starring in “Isle of Dogs,” Goldblum has not shied away from his strong love of teaching theatre and playing music.
The mixed crowd of students, parents, professors, and community members shot for the stage apron when Goldblum appeared at UCSB on Saturday night. He invited audience members on stage with him to ask questions, take pictures, and sing international national anthems.
Second year UCSB student Finnegan Smith rose to the occasion when Goldblum asked for a Ben to his Mr. Mcguire during a scene reading from the 1967 film, “The Graduate.” Ben, now played by Smith, talked to Mr. Mcguire, a friend, about one word: plastics.
One middle school student went up on stage and sang opera for Goldblum from a piece currently in production at Opera Santa Barbara. The enthusiastic listeners rose to their feet after he finished singing a snippet of his song.
Goldblum continued to play games with the crowd, selecting one of his favorites, Who Would You Rather: Actor Edition. Pinning two famous actors, at any time during their career, against each other, Goldblum asked whom the audience would rather sleep with as the audience cheered louder for one than the other.
Students also helped Goldblum learn some new slang such as smol, lit, spill the tea, and salty. In between each song, Goldblum would take a moment to interact with the audience even further. During intermission he even stayed on stage so his fans could speak with him.
He gave one senior acting director advice he’d learned from working with top directors such as Steven Spielberg and Wes Anderson: A director must believe that it is going to be a good movie for it to be good.
Delving into his piano performance, Goldblum rendered members of the crowd nostalgic when they were taken back with songs from Charles Mingus, Simon & Garfunkel, and Dinah Washington. Referencing movies that came out in the ’80s and ’90s, Goldblum left some audience members stumped while others roared with laughter.
Whether it was being seduced by the saxophone solos of James King or taken back to the jazz roots with Gina Saputo singing, note-by-note the audience was enthralled by the toe-tapping music of the night’s performance.
With a reluctant goodbye, the audience gave Goldblum and his band a standing ovation as they played him off with the theme song from “Jurassic Park.” Goldblum and his band have a record, “Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra: The Capitol Studios Session,” that came out Nov. 6. They will continue to tour around the world later this month to promote it.