Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, April 15, 1999

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Aiko Schick caps a remarkable high school stage career
with the starring role in "Sweet Charity." From here,
it's on to college and perhaps a career on Broadway.

CHARITY begins at home

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin


Aiko Schick is going out on top. The 17-year-old Castle High School senior caps her career in high school theater tomorrow when she opens in the title role of Charity Valentine in Castle Performing Arts Center's "Sweet Charity."

"I was hoping to get it, but I never really thought I would. Before the audition I was freaking out, and then I looked at myself and told myself, 'I'm Charity, I'm Charity,' and got into who she is and not what she does," Schick confided after a late rehearsal last week.

"I'm not as stupid as she is, but we're both very positive and happy people. This is really a dream role. I love it!"

The musical tells of the life and loves of a "gullible and guileless" '20s dime-a-dance girl. Directed by Ron Bright, "Sweet Charity" runs through May 1, then will be performed at the 1999 International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska in June. It will be the third time that Schick has gone to the festival in one of Bright's productions, but her first trip in a major role, let alone the lead.

The show and the role are a triumphant and well-deserved finale to this chapter of Schick's life. She plans to major in musical theater, get her bachelor of fine arts, then go to New York and take her shot at a Broadway career.

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
The dance sequence in the Pantheon Club gives the cast of
"Sweet Charity" a chance to shine.

"If I get there it will be because of all the people who have helped me and supported me," she says, placing her parents, Michael and Paulie Schick, "Mr. Bright," choreographer Matthew Marcelo Pacleb and Diamond Head Theatre artistic director John Rampage at the top of the list. She says her parents have simultaneously encouraged her dreams and kept her focused. Good grades are the priority.

"I'm not as organized as I should be, but being in a show helps me get more organized with school work. I've maintained my grades this quarter because I have a goal. I love musical theater, and I'm not I'm not going to sacrifice theater because I got a bad grade."

Schick describes "theater, sleeping, eating, sleeping and theater" as her "free-time" activities during the school year. She also makes time for church, community service activities, family time and an occasional evening out swing-dancing with friends.

Like many seniors pursuing performing arts careers, Schick spent much of the past year preparing audition material -- a video for this school, an essay for that one. And, like many island families, she and her parents have been weighing tuition packages, scholarship programs and related factors. She expects to end up a long way from home.

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
"Sweet Charity" delves into the life of a 1920s dime-a-dance girl.

Schick says she was barely out of elementary school when a local production of "Can Can" whetted her interest in theater. She paid her dues in early auditions against kids with pre-teen stage experience, overcame a youthful lisp and stuck it out through a hectic schedule of singing, acting and dance classes. She also plays several musical instruments.

Schick appeared in Dustin Sparks' musical, "Imagination," at Ala Moana Shopping Center, was a strong finalist in the 1995 Oceanic Road to Fame contest, and gained poise and confidence through the Miss Hawaii Teen USA and Miss Honolulu Scholarship pageants.

Castle High School's production of "Count Dracula" last fall gave Schick the opportunity to display her versatility and appeal in her first non-singing dramatic role. It followed her impressive performance as Val in Army Community Theatre's "A Chorus Line."

Ironically, while early auditions were stressful, Schick says she now enjoys the process.

"It's like a free acting, dancing and singing class. When I auditioned for Lola in 'Damn Yankees' at Diamond Head Theatre I was too young (for the role) but that didn't cross my mind. I was just going to go for it and learn as much as I could."

With her starring role in "Charity," Schick has now appeared in "about 18" shows here. Playing Val in "A Chorus Line" was one of her dreams. Playing Charity is another.

"Mr. Bright and Marcelo should get all the credit. They have a dream and a vision, and the entire cast and crew are the tools for helping them create the vision. I'm so happy to be a part of it -- especially to be Charity. She's awesome.

"Schick adds that she still has "dream roles" to hope for. She didn't have time to audition for Manoa Valley Theatre's "Kiss of the Spider Woman," but the lethal Spider Woman now tops the list."

"It's a great role and I'd love to do it -- when I'm old enough."


Bullet Presented by: Castle Performing Arts Center
Bullet On stage: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through May 1. Sunday matinees, 2 p.m. April 18 and 25
Bullet Place: Ronald E. Bright Theatre, Castle High School
Bullet Tickets: $15
Bullet Call: 233-5626

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