Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

The Duties and Responsibilities of Being a Sidekick

The Barkada Theater Project

Written by Eric 'Pogi' Sumangil


Contains Violence, Strobe lights

For ages 12+

a new play by Eric 'Pogi' Sumangil
directed by Brian Balcom

Ever been cuddled by a Superhero? Didn't think so. Well, Gentleman Li is here, with his trusty sidekick, Barrel Man, to drop some serious chivalry on you and all your hot friends. Can you handle it? Probably not.

Katie Bradley
Anissa Brazill
Allen Malicsi
Randy Reyes*
Jason Michael Vogen

*Member, Actors' Equity Association

Costumes by Renata Shaffer-Gottschalk
Fight Choreography by Eric 'Pogi' Sumangil & Allen Malicsi

Click here to view our postcard!

Inspired by Cervantes' Don Quixote de La Mancha and Bruce Lee's Kato in The Green Hornet TV series, The Duties and Responsibilities of Being A Sidekick (TDAROBAS) tells the story of Barrel Man, the loyal and trusty Filipino sidekick to the Asian American Superhero, Gentleman Li.

With Barrel Man's sidekick friends, Paso Doble and Fruit Fly, we get a glimpse into the world of Superhero Sidekicks and the things they do to find success in the highly competitive Super industry, from taking master classes with famous Supers to waiting for their big break and joining the American League of Independent Associated Superheroes, or ALIAS, a Superheroes’ union.

And while Barrel Man proves himself to be a skillful crime-fighter, possibly even better than Gentleman Li, he has a way with women that is less than heroic. Can Barrel Man summon his villain-crushing courage to ask his favorite coffee shop cutie out on a date? And when a new SuperVillain threatens to take over the city, can Barrel Man set aside his personal life long enough to save the day?

TDAROBAS is a tribute to all those theater artists who work tirelessly to pursue their passion. While some hope to gain fame and notoriety, others make personal sacrifices, all with the hope that their work will make the world a better place.

TDAROBAS was developed with support from The Playwrights' Center (Mpls) and Second Generation (NY).

If you enjoyed the show and want to support the work we do, I hope you'll consider donating to the Barkada! For more information, visit

Eric 'Pogi' Sumangil
Role: Playwright/Producer/Fight Choreographer
Eric “Pogi” Sumangil is a native Minneapolitan and has been arguably the most often-mispronounced name in the Twin Cities theater community for over 10 years. He is a two-time recipient of The Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Many Voices Fellowship. His ten-minute play, Wingman, was produced in Bedlam Theatre’s Twenty Ten Fest in 2010 and Freshwater Theater’s Festival of Awkward Moments in 2011. He is a co-founder of The Unit Collective, a recipient of the 2002 Fil-Minnesotan Association’s Excellence in the Arts award, a member of Actor’s Equity Association and once got his name on a plaque for eating a three-pound steak. www.castpogi.com.

Brian Balcom
Role: Director
Brian Balcom grew up in Minneapolis and has assisted on several shows at The Guthrie, The Jungle, and The Old Globe theaters, and has directed with Gremlin Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, New Theatre Group, Pillsbury House's Chicago Avenue Project, Illusion Theater's Lighthouse Group, Teatro del Pueblo, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. His past Fringe shows include See You Next Tuesday, A Standing Long Jump, Strong and Little Green Man, American Sexy, Killer Smile, and How to Cheat. Brian has a BFA in directing from the Carnegie-Mellon School of Drama.

Katie Bradley
Role: Jill, AKA Fruitfly
Katie Bradley's theater credits include: Children's Theatre Company's Disney's Mulan Jr. as Mulan, Theatre de la Jeune Lune's Antigone, History Theatre's Snapshots: Life in the City, the Southern Theater's production of Animal Farm with director Jon Ferguson, Pillsbury House Theater's Chicago Avenue Project, the Minneapolis and New York City productions of TigerLion Arts' The Buddha Prince, and the Minneapolis and Houston productions of Kaotic Good's The Cooking Show con Karimi y Comrades. She works regularly with Mu Performing Arts where she has performed in Little Shop of Horrors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Flower Drum Song, the world premieres of Ching Chong Chinaman and Bahala Na: Let It Go, and Asiamnesia.

Anissa Brazill
Role: Isa, AKA Scarlet Letter
Anissa Brazill always loves a chance to get her geek on, and is thrilled to be working on a show about super heroes! She has a BFA in Theatre Performance from Missouri State University, and has been seen locally with companies such as Upright Egg's Soongbird, Theatre Pro Rata's Taming of the Shrew and The Spanish Tragedy, and Theatre in the Round's The Devil's Disciple and Sabrina Fair, among others.

Allen Malicsi
Role: Gentleman Li/Fight Choreographer
Allen Malicsi is very pleased to be performing in Sidekick with Barkada Theater. Most recently, Allen reprised his role as Ritchie Valens in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story with the Minnesota History Theatre. Allen has also performed with other companies such as Mu Performing Arts, Mixed Blood, Urban Samurai, Theatre Unbound and Stages Theater. He would like to thank his friends and family, especially his parents for the unending support. And also…Pogi and Brian, for letting him come back to auditions.

Kate O'Connell Jandric
Role: Stage Manager
Kate O’Connell Jandric is a junior at the University of Minnesota studying Stage Managing. Thank you to my friends and family for your unwavering support, especially Maria Therese Gagnon, Maureen O’Connell and Tom Jandric. Her Stage Managing experience includes; The Strange Capers’s Twelfth Night performed at Powderhorn Park, The Oresteia Variations directed by Ben McGovern and performed in The Guthrie’s Dowling Studio, Erased Bobraushenburgamerica directed by Ben Gansky performed at 1419, The Romanian Revolution directed by Billy Mullaney performed at 1419. Upcoming: The Extraordinary Terms of Ordinary Life presented by The Four Humors and performed at The Loring Theatre, September 22nd- October 1st 2011.

Randy Reyes
Role: Barrel Man
Randy Reyes is thrilled to be playing a Filipino superhero. A dream come true. Past Fringe shows include The DamnAudition with Joking Envelope and How to Cheat by Alan Berks. Randy feels lucky to act/direct/teach theater in the Twin Cities. His other projects include Brian Fighters (also in this year's Fringe) and Il Campiello with Ten Thousand Things this fall. Randy is blessed by the unflinching love and support of Rachael and Tilly.

Renata Shaffer-Gottschalk
Role: Costume Designer
Renata Shaffer-Gottschalk moved to Minneapolis in 2006, after graduating with a B.F.A in Theatre Performance from Longwood University. She is resident costume designer with 20% Theatre Company; other design credits include costumes for Mixed Blood Theatre' Somebody/Nobody and Avenue Q; Workhaus Collective's Little Eyes with the Guthrie Theater; Walking Shadow Theatre Company's Amazons and their Men, Mojo, and The Crowd You're In With; The Strange Capers' 12th Night; Freshwater Theater's Desperation Panties; Theatre Or's Biloxi Blues; Minneapolis Musical Theatre's Chess, Summer of '42, and Zanna Don't; Cromulent Shakespeare Company's Troilus and Cressida. Renata's notorious alter-ego is a cast member of Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret.

Jason Michael Vogen
Role: Jack, AKA Paso Doble
Some say heroes are born they're not made
Some say heroes look awesome in tights
if you want to be super
its real super duper
to put on some spandex and start a food fight

Jason is super with no special powers
he likes to give hugs and stops to smell flowers
he's addicted to bread and it can be said his most special power is laughing for hours

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Very enjoyable
by Stuart Holland Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I guess it's a good bet that if Randy Reyes is in a show, it's going to be decent - good direction, good script, good fellow actors. I was not disappointed in that. I laughed through the entire show. Loved it.

It Ain't Easy Being A Sidekick
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This is a fun piece, but it does suffer from the one flaw almost every superhero play at the Fringe seems to - long scene changes. I assume these are partially to cover for the costume changes involved, but with nearly a minute dead time between scenes it drags the whole experience down a little. Tighten it up, and we could have the perfect Fringe superhero play on our hands.

Great Job. No Help Needed.
by August Berkshire Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A sneak peek behind the scenes of the lives of superheroes and their sidekicks. Funny, insightful, poignant, and, did I mention, funny? I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would.

by John Prince Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This play blew me away, so smart, and so funny...

Good, not great
by Don Bixler Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I came with high hopes, and they were partially met. Acting was all I hoped for, fight scenes well done, but the material was slight. Not bad, just so-so.

by Keith Prusak Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Lots of fun was had onstage, and the audience was definitely along for the ride! Makes me want to watch The Incredibles again. And have Gramma make me a new costume...

we love randy!
by Mark Browning Milner Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
when did randy reyes become one of the twin cities best, most appealing and engaging actors? well, that's what he is now, and really, we should go see him in anything. this show is a little slight (hence the missing kitty) but randy is very much well worth the time and effort. his awkward courtship of the barista made me want to pick him up, pat him on the back, wrap him in a cozy blanket and stick him in my backpack with a popsicle. do. not. miss. his. performance.

The Underdog
by Pat Sukhum Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Superheros, fight scenes, elaborate costumes, an underdog worth rooting for...what's not to love? Good cast that fit their roles well. Also really liked the camraderie and friendship between the sidekicks. Found the script fun and at times, even quite charming. Nice work. Thanks for the laughs and an entertaining show!

Randy Reyes is adorable
by Cato Brutus Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I want him to come to my hometown and awkwardly fight crime. No surprises, but a fun ride nonetheless.

Bonus imaginary half-kitty for having an oddly Asian-inclusive script.

Weak script undermines acting/directing
by Florence Brammer Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I had high hopes for this, as I'm both a Randy Reyes and a Brian Bolcom fan. But no matter how strong the skills of an actor or a director, the script is the infrastructure of a play and this was a weak one. I agree with the reviewer who commented on the great stage combat in the piece -- really, really good, probably the best I've ever seen in a Fringe show. But my laughs came more from the actors' unscripted demeanor or expressions than to the story line or text. A disappointment.

Nice concept, a little uneven
by Bill McTeer Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
What is a sidekick to do? Super-heros get better photo-ops and are the (self congratulatory) voice of the operation, while the sidekick has to deal with all the loose ends. Plus, the super gets all the love interest. The members of the sidekick guild wonder if they should just get day jobs.

A good concept and strong actors hampered by occasional uneven pacing and slightly too much jokiness.

(This is one of those shows where it would be nice to have fractional kitties. It's worth the time of a fringie, but 3.5 is about right.)

Sidekicks, and nut kicks.
by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A simple tale told well, with lots of comic book verve and tongue firmly planted in cheek.

by Richard Jackson Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I enjoyed this show. That said, I thought the pacing too slow and though the audience laughed a lot, I often found myself wondering why.

Cute but predictable
by Sharon Kahn Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
The whole joke about superheroes joining unions, cultivating their brands, and worrying about their career paths is getting kind of old, IMHO. This show has nothing new to add to that genre. However, it's executed pretty well here, and judging by the audience reaction there are still plenty of folks who aren't tired of this meme yet. 

Why I Love Fringe
by Dawn Brodey Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This was a perfect fringe show! A simple plot that handled complex staging with great imagination. The fight scenes and the costumes were hilarious and inspired. Wait in line, make a reservation, but don't say you missed this one!

action action
by Peter Lee Lee Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show was so well performed! The script was very clever in my opinion. Kudos to all involved. Especially the fight choreographers!
It really had the Hong Kong cinema feel and humor.

Side Kick Ass
by Matilda ZombieQueen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A well-written show with a very good cast and excellent fight choreography. Especially enjoyed Randy Reyes in the lead. Great interscene music, too.

Sidekick triumphs!
by Amy Bonifas Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Fabulous acting with Randy Reyes a special standout. Great story. Best between scene music of the Fringe.

Silly & Fun
by Rachel Brady Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A well-written, simple plot with plenty of "bit" moments that will have you chuckling. Reyes, unsurprisingly, makes the show well worth the admission price, but I felt a few other actors fell short in comparison to his comic brilliance. Overall, super fun, glad I went.

Superheroes sidekicks heroes romance!
by Scott Pakudaitis Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Excellent fight scenes, cute albeit predictable plot & fantastic acting make this a fun, enjoyable show.

Cute and Sappy, but Good Fights
by Mark Long Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This is a sappy, sweet story with good actors. It's a little short on plot, but the fight scenes are good and funny with the actors nicely physical.

Sidekick Gets His Day
by Joe Luis Cedillo Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A humorous and gymnastic journey that mixes laughs with homage to the complexity of being in the shadow of a super hero. Plays on fan boy love for the genre—including the kind of moves you come to expect from the comic books and action flicks—and also plays on the vulnerabilities of secret identities as we follow an underdog scrapping his way to the top. Good one liners, great costumes and funny.

Packs a punch [of laughs]
by Rachel Flynn Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Being a sidekick may be tough (and surprisingly akin to being an actor in many ways) but it sure is fun to watch. The script is solid and the acting is just right for this style of show. The director did a nice job of finding/creating great little moments for giggles and laughs. I'm being overly conservative with only 4 stars but that's just because there's some room to tighten up some of the cues -- which I know they will and this is definitely a show Fringers should be sure to catch!

Fantastic fun! Go see!
by Guy Incognito Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
What a perfect way to start the Fringe! Fun show :-)

by Lisa Geekster Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I laughed.


I'm coming back again

enough said.

Fun show!
by Betty Rasmussen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Loved everything about this show. Lots of action and laughs. Definitely worth the price of admission.

by Tammy Bamberger Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This was a delightfully entertaining show!!! I'm recommending this one to all my fellow Fringers!!!

by Craig Peters Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties

It was so funny!!! Well acted by everyone!!!
From Fruit Fly all the way to the awesome "douchebagness" of Gentleman Li.

And the fight scenes were really fun to watch as well!!!

Great job all around!

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Thursday, 8/45:30 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/72:30 p.m. 
Tuesday, 8/910:00 p.m. 
Friday, 8/127:00 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/145:30 p.m. 

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2400 University Av W

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