We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Platt Brothers: An Act You MUST See

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Saturday, Mar. 28, 2009 at 3:40 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

The Platt Brothers, playing at the Sunset Temple near Claire de Lune Coffeehouse in North Park through the end of April, offer an exciting, hilarious combination of the Smothers Brothers, Monty Python and the Three Stooges. Their act combines three-part vocal harmonies, comedy sketches and stunning acrobatics, all centered around their real-life family history. See them before they become major stars!

The Platt Brothers: ...
platt_bros.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x382

The Platt Brothers: An Act You Must See


The first time I encountered the Platt Brothers was at a “Say What!” open-mike night in February at Filter, the coffeehouse at 30th and Polk in North Park formerly known as the Other Side, where three nice-looking (if a bit gangly) young men came out and did a couple of songs in impeccable three-part harmony. They were particularly impressive on a song called “His Name’s Boone,” a parody of the Beach Boys’ “In My Room” that managed to capture the Beach Boys’ sound while making delightful nonsense of the lyrics. So it was a surprise — a jolt, actually — when I saw them again at an outdoor show promoted by the Planet Rooth gallery, also in North Park, and instead of dressing in casual street clothes they came out wearing comic versions of the Superman costume and did a spectacular acrobatic act that ended with the three of them grabbing each other and doing circular flips. (Don’t try this at home.)

The Platts gave both these free performances to promote their two-month residency at the Sunset Temple, 3911 Kansas Street in North Park, in the same building as the Claire de Lune coffeehouse — whose owners are promoting their show. Their shows continue through April 3, 4, 11, 17, 18 and 25 at 8 p.m. and April 10 and 24 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available through their own Web site at www.theplattbrothers.com or the venue’s site at www.sunsettemple.com. You owe it to yourselves not to miss them; that way, when they become major stars, you can regale your friends with tales that you saw them way back when …

For make no mistake about it: the Platt Brothers are major talents. And in answer to your first question about them — or at least my first question when I had a chance to interview them after their March 20 show — their last name really is Platt and they really are brothers. Their show can basically be described as the Smothers Brothers (an influence they readily acknowledged) meet Monty Python meet the Three Stooges. They seamlessly blend music, dance, sketch comedy and acrobatics into a stunning, outrageously funny whole that’s based — so they insist — on their actual experiences growing up in a remote Northern California town.

There are actually seven Platt siblings, though two of them are female and the oldest and youngest Platt brothers aren’t part of the act. The ones that are are, in age order, Cy — short for Cyril William Neill, a name he quickly abandoned in kindergarten for reasons that are explained in one of the show’s most hilarious bits — Cheetah (originally Benjamin, and the circumstances and reasons for the change are also part of the program) and Boone. Cy is the (relatively) short, wiry one; Cheetah the tallest and the one with the frizzed-out red hair and band of freckles across the face (a feature he’s had since childhood, as documented by the family snapshots shown on big screens as part of the act); and Boone is the youngest, blondest and cutest — at least by consensus of the young straight women who form a good chunk of their fan base.

The Platts can’t remember a time when they weren’t interested in performing. When their ages were still in single digits they got their first exposure to live dance from a ballet company. “I saw people jumping, leaping and hurling,” Cy recalled. Told by their parents that they’d have to sign up for some sport in school, Boone said, “We tried gymnastics and soccer, and that just encouraged us to perform.” They wanted to learn circus tricks and couldn’t find a school to do so, but they managed to find opportunities to work with acrobats and learn the skills needed to build what eventually became their act.

Cheetah first came to San Diego in the early 2000’s to earn a theatre degree at UCSD, but the genesis of the Platt Brothers’ act began in 2004. “Cy and I got cast in Wonderland at Harrah’s Reno,” Cheetah recalled. They put together a five-minute duo routine which Cy said was “hip-hop with jokes, an elephant sound and an Irish jig.” Boone was still in high school, but as soon as he graduated he joined his brothers in Reno and the three of them expanded their show to a 45-minute routine that’s the basis of what they perform today.

“The first time we did a full-length version was in 2006,” Cheetah recalled.

“No, it was in 2007,” said Cy.

“We did one-night stands, but then we had no reason to fine-tune the show,” Cheetah said. Their two-month stand at the Sunset Temple gave them the opportunity to hone the performance and figure out a way to lengthen it without totally wearing themselves out physically “We started out with very little singing,” Boone said — and the reason they added more, according to Cy, was “we got tired really fast when we did all the physical stuff. We had to find slow, quiet moments.”

“We loved singing in the high-school choir,” said Cheetah, so vocals were a natural addition for them. What wasn’t was a folk-music singer-songwriter parody in which Cheetah tells the story of his name change in song — and accompanies himself on guitar. Cheetah had never played the guitar before in his life. “We wrote the words and the tune,” said Boone, “and we had to teach Cheetah to play guitar.”

One commitment they’ve made to themselves and their performance is to keep it real. Everything in the show — from the gospel-soul song about how their father used to punish them by making them fill a wheelbarrow full of rocks and push it home, to their accounts of hunting raccoons that were eating the family’s chickens and starting brush fires around their home — is, they insist, merely a comic “spin” on real events from their childhoods. “We make lots of jokes, but every story is 100 percent true,” Cheetah insists. “We’ve tried hard not to add anything that wasn’t true or wasn’t us.”

“They really burned the hill down, and his name really is Cheetah,” added Cy. They said they’ve brainstormed doing skits about made-up stories but rejected the idea — which suggests they might be letting themselves in for the Augusten Burroughs problem. Burroughs did such a great job strip-mining his life for comedy in his first two books, Running with Scissors and Dry, that his more recent ones have seemed dull by comparison.

Asked how hard they rehearsed the show, Cy said they started rehearsing in December and aimed for a mid-February opening. It was a difficult process, Cheetah added, because not only did they have to learn difficult acrobatic tricks, three-part harmonies and comic timing, as well as recording all the sound effects for the show (even when they’re clearly performing to a tape, it’s their tape) but because, as Cheetah put it, “We didn’t have a producer, director, choreographer or anything but us.”

“We can rehearse the songs in the living room, but the dance pieces take a lot of time just working on the computer even before we physically do it,” said Boone.

“A lot of times we agree, but also we disagree,” Cheetah added. He said they sometimes have long arguments about a particular routine when “either way would work.”

Asked who’s influenced them, they say the Smothers Brothers (they don’t use the Smothers’ signature joke, “Mom always liked you best!,” but a lot of their humor is in a similar sibling-rivalry vein) and Mark Lewis, a veteran storyteller who’s appeared on the Tonight Show and who opened for them March 20. Part of the quirkiness of the show is explained by the fact that when they were growing up, their parents didn’t have a television — and even after they got one, virtually all they watched were movies. “If we watched Looney Tunes, it was a movie and we studied it,” said Cheetah.

What their parents did have was a record player and a large collection of comedy albums from the heyday of stand-up recordings in the 1960’s. “Older comedians influenced us because they weren’t dirty,” Cheetah said. “You could listen to them with your parents or with your kids. I’ve always respected people who could entertain the whole room. A lot of people today say they’re just children’s entertainers, or they’re just adult entertainers.”

“Our parents didn’t tell us no, and part of that rubbed off on us,” said Cy. “We don’t have to label ourselves or our intentions. We’ll take characters from everyday life.” He added that the three-man flip — the spectacular acrobatic climax of the act — was taught to them by “an eighth-generation Italian dude from a circus, who spoke almost no English” — and who was also teaching it to his own sons so they could extend it into the ninth generation.

Asked what the future holds for the Platt Brothers, Boone said, “We really don’t know, but we get people to see the act for two months. We get to get everything where we want it to be.”

Cy added that their two-month residency at the Sunset Temple has been “the first time we’ve been able to do our performance as our profession” — the first time they’ve been able to consider the possibility of making this their life’s work. “We have the viable possibility of going on tour and doing this as a job,” he said. “We’re hoping to take it to a wider audience, but still with the interactions of a small room.”

In the meantime, they’ve been able to build up a big enough local following that their show fills up nearly all of the 300 seats in the Sunset Temple — and Cheetah says he loves the setup of the room, a large performing floor with a horseshoe-shaped seating arrangement with the audience on three sides of them. “We want to offer them a glimpse into Platt family history, and give them the impression that we’d be doing this even without an audience,” he said. “We’d love to arrange tours in different theatres.

“Anything that could bring us a new audience, we’ll keep doing it,” Boone added.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM



Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy