Young singer’s suc­cess aided by Judge Judy

Alex Getlin, now 23, met mu­si­cian Michael Fe­in­stein at TV ju­rist’s Thanks­giv­ing party.

Los Angeles Times - - CULTURE MONSTER - By Sara Smola cal­en­dar@la­times.com

Alex Getlin de­scribes her up­com­ing per­for­mance kick­ing off the Pasadena Pops sum­mer se­ries in a con­cert con­ducted by the orches­tra di­rec­tor Michael Fe­in­stein as a “pinch-me mo­ment.”

Satur­day’s con­cert at the Los An­ge­les County Ar­bore­tum in Ar­ca­dia pays trib­ute to Tony and Os­car win­ner Liza Min­nelli. The sa­lute is part of the orches­tra’s open­ing show, “Broad­way: The Golden Age” and fea­tures Min­nelli’s fel­low “Cabaret” star Joel Grey, soloist Storm Large and the 23year-old Getlin in her Cal­i­for­nia de­but.

The New York-based Getlin is slated to per­form a song from “Funny Girl” with Fe­in­stein, who has known her since she was in grade school. The North­west­ern grad­u­ate was fea­tured in the 2016 Broad­way Ris­ing Stars con­cert at New York’s Town Hall and sings reg­u­larly in Man­hat­tan clubs.

Though Fe­in­stein is noted for dis­cov­er­ing and fos­ter­ing young tal­ent through his sum­mer mu­sic pro­gram, the Song­book Academy, he had a lit­tle help when it came to con­nect­ing with Getlin — Judge Judy.

“We would be at the same Thanks­giv­ing at Judge Judy Sheindlin’s house since I was lit­tle,” re­calls Getlin in a phone in­ter­view. “Af­ter din­ner, guests would get up and sing, and ev­ery year I was so ex­cited to sing a show tune.”

The day­time tele­vi­sion judge in­tro­duced them, in­form­ing Fe­in­stein that 8year-old Alex sang and played the pi­ano too. Sheindlin’s in­tro­duc­tion would later prove to be fruit­ful to Getlin’s ca­reer.

“It's been a joy for me to watch Alex grow into a su­per tal­ent. Michael has been a self­less shep­herd of her ca­reer. The re­sult is mag­i­cal,” Sheindlin wrote in an email.

Dur­ing her teenage years, Fe­in­stein took her un­der his wing, invit­ing her to do a solo cabaret show at his night­club at the Re­gency in New York. He pre­sented her show, “You’re Gonna Hear From Me,” while Getlin was only a ju­nior at New York’s LaGuardia High School for the Per­form­ing Arts.

“As she evolved,” he says, “I saw ev­ery­thing fall into place ... how she’s grown into a for­mi­da­ble per­former.”

Fe­in­stein knew in­clud­ing Getlin would be a good blend for the open­ing Pops show. “To have some­one with [Alex’s] pas­sion and her youth in con­flu­ence with Joel Grey is a great com­bi­na­tion,” says Fe­in­stein. “She has that in­de­fin­able qual­ity that can­not be learned. Alex has a cer­tain kind of charisma, a con­nec­tion . ... ”

Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

ALEX GETLIN at Michael Fe­in­stein’s New York night­club in 2012. Her Cal­i­for­nia de­but is Satur­day.

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