Shaw was beginning to hum by the time a $29 million renovation of the decaying Howard Theatre was completed in 2012.
The additions of curving walnut walls, jumbo video screens and a refurbished exterior have returned the 1910 theater — a
centerpiece of Washington’s Black Broadway that hosted Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Miles Davis when others turned them away — to its place as a star attraction.
The theater is now a destination for gospel brunches and performances by rising hip-hop performers. Look past the fancy cocktails and luxe banquettes, however, and you’ll find one piece of the history left intact: the stage, the same one that hosted so many performances during the venue’s golden age.
— Lavanya Ramanathan