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How Judge Judy led young singer Alex Getlin to her Pasadena Pops debut

Alex Getlin performing her show "You're Gonna Hear From Me" in 2012.
(Hiroyuki Ito / Getty Images)

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.”

The concert on Saturday at the Los Angeles County Arboretum will pay 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 23-year-old Getlin, who will make 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 from a friend when it came to connecting with Getlin — Judge Judy.

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Alex Getlin performs with Michael Feinstein at Loews Regency in 2012.
(Hiroyuki Ito / Getty Images)

“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 8-year-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.

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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.

“I didn’t know that she would become so polished and that she was so organically gifted,” admits Feinstein. “As she evolved, I saw everything fall into place. I’ve seen how she’s grown into a formidable performer.”

When planning for the Broadway-themed concert, 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, that some people will never have.”

What: Broadway: The Golden Age Concert

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Where: The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

When: June 17. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Ticket prices: $25-$95

Info – : www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org or (626) 793-7172

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calendar@latimes.com


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