Jeff Goldblum wears a pork pie hat and wide grin in his Café Carlyle debut, even when heckled by a man who wanted less talk and more music. But the performance, in which he acts as quiz show host, pianist and front man for the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, a grand name for a jazz ensemble, proceeds amiably with more shmooze than most events at the legendary Carlyle. At Tuesday's opening, Goldblum recounted how Woody Allen, who plays at the Carlyle on Monday nights, suggested The Fly actor make this scene. He also stopped the music to shout out to Edward Norton who attended with his pal Fisher Stevens, and Al Roker, celebrating his wedding anniversary.
The music was a lively mix with Charlie Parker's "Scrapple from the Apple" and a vocabulary lesson on Thelonius Monk's "Epistrophy," Hilary Gardner, a singer from Wasila, Alaska joined in with "Autumn in New York." As Goldblum admittedly just met her, he put her in unwitting contestant mode asking how she and her husband met. An encore of Duke Ellington's "Caravan" featuring Zane Musa on tenor saxophone with John Storie on guitar, Tim Emmons on bass, Kenny Elliot on drums and Goldblum's piano was a high point. Goldblum kept asking, are we having fun? Yes, we were.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.