| Theater |

Last Chance to Catch The Rembrandt Room, a Buntport Masterpiece

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

This weekend is your last chance to catch The Rembrandt Room, a Buntport Theater Company masterpiece. Here's our capsule review of the show:

As good as Buntport's plays have always been, The Rembrandt Room, a long monologue by a guide watching over said room in Russia’s Hermitage Museum, reaches an entire new level. It’s transcendent, a brilliant work of art. The guide, played by Erin Rollman, stands by Rembrandt’s “Danaë.” She directs people to the restrooms, tells them to stay two feet from the paintings, forbids the use of flash photography. And she returns again and again to the painting itself, where Danaë is shown naked, reclining on cushions, gazing toward the light falling through a gap in some draperies.

The guide tells Danaë’s story. Having heard a prophecy that he would be killed by her son, her father imprisoned her underground so that she could never bear a child. But that randy shape-changer Zeus entered her dungeon in the form of a shower of bright coins and impregnated her. Over the course of the evening, the guide talks about many interesting things: how we see and judge art. The difference between nude and naked. The role of Catherine the Great in the painting’s history. The attack by a madman who poured acid on the work and slashed Danaë’s belly in 1985, and the twelve years it took to get the painting restored. Certain facts return again and again, and each time the meaning is deeper or a little different.

But academic analysis isn’t the point. The point is the nervous, spurty, ridiculous movements of the guide’s mind. Because she isn’t just anyone. She’s somebody very specific. And this somebody is a figure that only Rollman, with her unique and considerable talents as an actor, could create. At first the guide seems eccentric, if not quite mad: the nervous gestures, the weird laugh, the way her voice gets uncomfortably shrill here and there. She’s funny and silly — and also tragic, particularly as you come to sense the echoes of her own life she finds in Rembrandt’s painting.

But Rollman didn’t create this piece of theater alone. The script was written by the entire company, which includes Brian Colonna, Hannah Duggan, Erik Edborg and SamAnTha Schmitz. You might expect writing like this to require solitude – but perhaps after all their years together, these artists have actually taken up residence in each others’ minds. Presented by Buntport through April 30, 717 Lipan Street, 720-946-1388, buntport.com. Read our full review of The Rembrandt Room .

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.