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Arts and Entertainment

The Human Swiffer Will Sweep the Stage at Highways Performance Space

Photo of performer Jamie Benson by Petra Rajnicova.
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Pop culture in performance almost always brings smiles into the audience. This weekend, in a shared bill at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, choreographer/performer Jamie Benson (with his "Project Runway" real-time partner/designer Andrae Gonzalo) and choreographer/new mother, Carmela Hermann (with gay retiree/accidental dad/grandfather, Terrence Luke Johnson) will beam from the stage in Mixed Marriages / Homestretch.

Benson has promised to appear as the Human Swiffer in “The Pick Up Artist,” modeling his character on advertising campaign spokespeople for a popular sweeping sensation. The remainder of Mixed Marriages includes juxtapositions of attitudes, classes, objects and concepts in order to reveal universal themes of love and loneliness in tragic dance comedy. His short film, United, follows a romance from below knee level (a collaboration with Actor/Filmmaker Jesse Schoem).

On the other side of the evening, Hermann and Johnson reveal a post-modern soap opera in Homestretch. Described in promotional material as a “hysterical, poignant, ridiculous & heartbreaking look at real life through the lens of its performers . . . the two play games with identity” and empathetically evolve into the other.

Both headliners boast high-impact backgrounds, having danced with postmodern icons Rudy Perez (Benson) and Simone Forti (Hermann). Their work was showcased in last year's Bootleg Dance Festival, and audiences exited the theater showing lots of teeth.

Check out Benson's video appetizer and make way for the main entrée this weekend.