|Peanut gallery high above the stage.|
As media members wandered through the props stored in the labyrinth basement, Dr. Watson popped up. He was more than a little agitated that Holmes had stuck him in the basement. Holmes himself popped out of the fancy stage right dressing room which was added in 1979 for Tony Award-winning actress Julie Harris when she presented "The Belle of Amherst" at Civic. Harris, who died Saturday, is also featured in a photo in the lobby.
But the spookiest part of the tour was a trip to the "peanut gallery" on the third floor, high above the balcony that most guests see. This is where blacks and other minorities were seated until the 1920s. Now the bleacher seats are used for storage and spotlights. But it was an ugly peek into entertainment history that was particularly meaningful on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech.