The episodes featured here in Volume 11 (Shows 17 and 18) are two of the most relaxed and entertaining installments of "The Judy Garland Show" (CBS, 1963-1964). Judy entertains as only she can, but she also seems to be thoroughly enjoying herself.
SHOW 17: The opening number, "They Can't Take That Away From Me", features a "freeze-frame" effect as Judy snaps her fingers and transforms a female chorus into male dancers. The unedited version, with Judy holding a pose as the females and males quickly move out of and into place, is included in the Outtakes. Next, Chita Rivera and Judy sing "I Believe In You" (from "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying") to help calm "nervous" comedian Louis Nye. Chita Rivera and dancers perform a fabulous routine to Gershwin's "I Got Plenty Of Nothing." It is a shame this episode does not feature more of Chita and Judy together. Since Chita was one of the featured stars in the original Broadway Cast of "West Side Story" (1957), it is even more odd that Chita does not appear with Judy and Vic Damone, singing a big medley from "West Side Story."
Judy soars with her unforgettable, dynamic and haunting rendition of "By Myself", arranged by musical director Mort Lindsay for her final film "I Could Go On Singing" (1963). Judy said that Lindsay's arrangement of this song was one of her "all-time favorites." Judy closes Show 17 with "Better Luck Next Time" ("Easter Parade" , 1948) and the famous Medley of "Almost Like Being In Love"/"This Can't Be Love" from her historic 1961 Carnegie Hall Concert.
SHOW 18: Laughter reigns supreme in Show 18, which has a very informal, "party" feeling. Rich Little cracks Judy up doing impressions of various male celebrities reciting the lyrics to her signature song "The Man That Got Away." Judy thoroughly enjoys watching "Ken Murray's Hollywood Home Movies", which features footage of teen-age Judy at a tennis match in 1939. Murray, in fact, appears in both Show 17 and 18. Judy can barely control her laughter as she joins Martha Raye for a "Glenn Miller Medley." Martha and Judy, incidentally, were both married (at different times, of course) to musician David Rose. The dress rehearsal version of "The Glenn Miller Medley" was so hilarious and entertaining that CBS aired it instead of the "final" version, performed later that same day. Judy, Martha and Peter Lawford play a "Hits Of 1964" Medley, with Martha shouting, "I'm a dumb-head, stupid little girl" strictly for laughs. Judy concludes Show 18 in typically rousing "Judy Garland Style"; with a soul-stirring rendition of "Lord, I'm On My Way." Watch the Out-Takes Section to see Judy and Martha Raye laugh merrily through "The Glenn Miller Medley." Peter Lawford flubs badly during the "Hits Of 1964" Medley, resulting in multiple takes. At one point, you can hear someone say off-camera, "Goodnight, folks."