Rachel Alejandro—one of Original Pilipino Music’s most distinctive voices—should have been part of the smash hit musical of 2012, Atlantis Production’s Rock of Ages, but she had something more important to do. She got married and flew to New York to be with her new husband.
“I even recorded ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ for Bobby [Garcia, Atlantis Production’s founder and artistic director] four years ago, because he said he wanted me to be in the production,” Rachel told The Manila Times in a one-on-one interview on Thursday. “But you know how it is, the dates for Rock of Ages were pushed back, Atlantis’ production schedules changed, and I was already in New York when they were finally ready to do the show.”
Her efforts not wasted, Rachel included her rendition of the Journey anthem, and Rock of Ages’ grand ensemble finale, in her last album, Believe, released under Sony Records in 2010.
“I wanted to tell Atlantis I’d go home for Rock of Ages, but I knew I had to stay with my husband and try to be a housewife even for just for the whole 10 months we were there,” she laughed.
Rachel is married to Spanish journalist Carlos Santa Maria, and while she is happy they have both settled back in Manila again, she has no regrets spending time away from home.
“Of course I had to be where my husband is, but living in New York was good for me too because I tried to do things that usually come easy here in Manila.
“For starters, there’s the housework and the driving,” she laughed again. “Then as an artist, I also tried—although just once—to audition for Broadway.”
While Rachel is best known in show business as a recording artist—her one of a kind voice behind such hits as “Paalam Na,” “Nakapagtataka” and “Kay Tagal,” among others—she started performing publicly as a theater actress at age eight for a commercial run of The Sound of Music.
Her succeeding stage credits for various theater companies as she grew up in the business include Peter Pan, Noli Me Tangere, Alikabok, Sino Ka Ba Jose Rizal, Larawan, Fire Water Woman, and much later for Atlantis Production, her much lauded performances for Rent, Avenue Q, Xanadu and Aida.
“Believe it or not, I tried to audition for Rock of Ages in New York!” she exclaimed. “But I had to do lots of homework before then, specifically if I could audition at all because of Actor’s Equity [the labor union for actors in Broadway].”
Rachel discovered that “non-equity actors” could only audition when all “equity actors” have auditioned, and on top of that, there is a quota on the number of talents who would like to try out.
“The funny thing was, I had all my research done but on the day of the auditions, at least three of us who were auditioning didn’t know about the change of venue,” she recalled with a foolish grin. “So we had to run several blocks only to find a long line of women all dressed like rockers like we all were, and that the production had reached the quote for non-equity members.”
At the end of that long day, Rachel, who is also a successful entrepreneur behind the famed Sexy Chef diet food delivery company, took out her disappointment with a huge burger, took comfort in her husband’s loving embrace.
Armed with a story that’s one for the books, Rachel is delighted over the turn of events that now has her starring in the repeat of Rock of Ages come July 12 to 28.
Due to popular demand, Atlantis Productions is brining back MiG Ayesa, Nyoy Volante, Vina Morales, Aiza Seguerra, Jett Pangan, Jamie Wilson, Calvin Millado, and Bibo Reyes—with the fortified star and vocal prowess of Rachel Alejandro—to Sunset Strip, singing the classic rock hits of the ‘80s, from “We Built This City” to “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
Rachel essays the role of club owner Justice Charlier, and enthused, “I’ve always loved the songs of the ‘80s, and I’ve seen the show. It’s non-stop fun from beginning to end, with the audience singing along to the music the whole way through. I also know for a fact that my cast-mates are a riot and I’m just looking forward to it all.”
Without a doubt, Rachel Alejandro is meant to be in Rock of Ages one way or another. Long missed on the stage, she will surely bring a heightened energy to the show, and like they say, “rock on” with her talent.
The show runs at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati from July 12 – 28. For tickets call Atlantis Productions at 8927078 or Ticketworld at 8919999.