54.5 F
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Violinist brings ‘Fiddler’ to Walker Theatre

More by this author

Kelly Hall-Tompkins spent 13 months playing the titular character in “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway, with several solo pieces written specifically for her. After her stint on the stage, the violinist worked with artistic directors from the production to record “The Fiddler: Expanding Tradition,” an album featuring her own arrangement of “If I Were a Rich Man” and other songs from the hit musical. Hall-Tompkins will bring “Expanding Tradition,” along with holiday favorites, to the Madam Walker Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. The performance will also be streamed virtually at violin.org.

Hall-Tompkins curated the entire setlist, but it’s difficult for her to pick her favorite piece.

“I really love all of them,” she said. “There’s a story with every single one of the pieces. Each one is a microcosm of the entire evening in a lot of ways. The show is about joy, sadness, excitement, and there’s a layer of that in each piece.”

While Hall-Tompkins has performed all over the world, her yearlong stint in “Fiddler” in 2016 left a lasting impact on her. The messages ­— those of women’s empowerment and speaking against the oppression of people, in this case, members of the Jewish community — are important for all to hear, Hall-Tompkins said.

“It was one of the best personal and professional experiences of my life,” she said. “Musically, it made an impact, and I want to carry that forward. … I want to encapsulate our experience on Broadway for this show.”

See the show!
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16
Where: Walker Theatre, 617 Indiana Ave., and
online at violin.org
Cost: $10-$40 at violin.org

The performance at the Madam Walker Theatre is significant for Hall-Tompkins. The South Carolina native recalls visiting Walker’s home in New York, which the owners at the time allowed her and her husband to tour. She cites A’Lelia Bundles’ (Walker’s great-great-granddaughter) “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam CJ Walker” as one of her favorite books.

“I’m so thrilled the show is there,” Hall-Tompkins said. “I’m a big admirer of her and her legacy. … She’s an important American figure.”

Outside of the theater, the virtual component to the show allows Hall-Tompkins to reach a broader audience. Two years into a global pandemic, the musician believes the arts are a way to connect with people who have been isolated. She’s had previous experience with streaming performances. During the summer of 2020, she performed in a virtual vigil for George Floyd, as well as one for Elijah McClain, who was killed by Colorado police in 2019. Virtual concerts, she said, allow performers to reach people where they are, and sometimes reach new audiences who weren’t previously tapped into the arts.

“Music is a language,” Hall-Tompkins said. “It brings people together.”

For more information on the show and to buy tickets, visit violin.org.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

- Advertisement -

Upcoming Online Townhalls

- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest local news.

Stay connected


Related articles

Popular articles

Español + Translate »
Skip to content