Howard Theatre
Howard Theatre
3.5
Monday
6:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Tuesday
6:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Wednesday
6:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Thursday
6:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Friday
6:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Saturday
6:00 PM - 3:00 AM
What people are saying
Beres Hammond reggae concert poorly planned and executed!
3.0 of 5 bubblesAug 2019
The good: The self-parking lot one block from the theater is $20 although small in size- come early to get a parking spot. The acoustics of Howard Theater are very good. The seating is reasonable. The bad: Here are some awful things about how the Howard Theater and specifically the Beres Hammond concert on 8/16/19 that I attended. The first issue is that there was a House DJ who blew out our eardrums with intense volume music for his overextended playtime. He wasted our time for well over 2.5 hours of playtime. The concert (one act only- Beres Hammond) was supposed to start at 8 pm. Instead Beres came on at 9:45 pm! Nearly 1 hour and 45 minutes later than he was supposed to. That is ridiculous delay considering he was the only act. The DJ of Howard Theater played music from 6:30-9:00 pm after which our eardrums were fried. Then ANOTHER DJ who was Jamaican (nice guy to be honest) from the entourage of Beres Hammond took over after the curtain lifted (DJ Fano?) and he literally DJ's for another 45 minutes of intense eardrum-cracking music. Now how can you have 2 DJ's at a reggae concert when the main act is supposed to come out at 8 pm and instead chooses to come out at 9:45 pm. Is that the fault of Howard Theater for poor planning??? Or is it Beres Hammond who held everything up?? Impossible to know but if you are the venue (Howard Theater management), you have an obligation to make sure the musical acts go out within a short and reasonable window of the planned concert time (in this case 8 pm became almost 10 pm). That is simply one of the worst planned concerts I have been to. Wolftrap, Verizon Center, and Hamilton all have had big name acts and smaller acts that truly start their concerts on time. Disappointed in the execution of a concert at Howard Theater!!

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Howard Theatre and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles98 reviews
Excellent
26
Very good
29
Average
17
Poor
13
Terrible
13

dsd1221
2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013
Visiting DC for holiday weekend and decided to go see SWV. Got to venue all seats were "gone"; spoke with manager to give clarity of ticket stating "general admission" and his explanation was our interpretation was basically incorrect. The ticket did state doors open at 6pm but also there should have been a notation of "seating is first come first serve." Terrible business practices....as we left the show before it started we saw a gentleman with braces on both if his legs standing as well as numerous elderly standing in this "general admission" seating". Words of the wise if there's a big act coming in make sure you call because once all the seating is gone you will be standing good, bad or indifferent.
Written May 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ghanagirl2
Baltimore, MD123 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Friends
PROS: The Howard Theatre is VERY pretty. The performance we saw TOP NOTCH! (The show was called "The Music of Aretha Franklin"; Ms. Ada Dyer was the performer paying tribute to Ms. Franklin, AND let me TELL you; the lady could SING!! and YES SHE DID! sing for two solid hours with no intermission, YES, SHE DID!!!

My sister and BFF and I drove into DC via 295 S from Baltimore on Monday January 19th, 2015. As we got closer we saw there was a back-up on 295 S and were lucky enough to NOT get caught up into it. However, re-routing through Columbia MD back onto 95 S back to 295 N (to route 50...) made us late for the performance, which apparently started on time. (We arrived about 8:10 and Ms. Dyer was singing when we got there). The Howard Theatre offers valet parking as well an option for free parking on one of their lots near the theater. As stated, we drove in from Baltimore; this was our first visit to the Howard Theatre; and not knowing anything about where we were, the location of the parking lots etc., we opted for valet parking, If you go and choose valet; you will pay less if you pay at the door. (I explain a little more in detail below).

CONS: We were there to celebrate my birthday so I didn't mind spending a LITTLE extra money in celebration, on top of the cover charge. After reading the reviews we were expecting to go the extra dollar for a good time. The performance had started when we arrived. There was a single light on the table; but it was almost impossible to read the menu. The theater was very dark. I literally stood up and found the light from the ceiling in an attempt to read the menu. I don't call that ambiance. Our waiter (not sure what happened; this wait person disappeared after helping out) did provide a light on a key chain.I guess my title sums it up for me, so, let me TRY to add it up: I mentioned the valet parking, prepaid on-line. We prepaid on-line; but it is infinitely cheaper if you pay at the door. (Twenty dollars... is. well, twenty dollars($20..00) at the door. On-line there are surcharges and taxes and printing fees - I saved $0.50 (fifty cents) by printing my own parking ticket - however on-line twenty dollars become $26.75 - that is WITH the $0.50 (whopping fifty cents!) savings! - who knew??)I drank 2 specialty drinks ($12 bucks each) and I also had an order of "jerk" chicken wings with plantain (which was VERY nicely cooked and delicious!). The chicken was plentiful; enough for me and my sister-friend who was celebrating with me. The wings were okay; large in size, but the seasoning was a "jerk" I am not familiar with. Back to my addition; the wings were on the "Lite Fare" menu and also cost $12.00 bucks. My sister-friend originally also ordered a specialty drink ($12.00) but changed to a domestic beer (priced $8.00 bucks on menu; charged $9.00 on bill.) Taxes and a 15% gratuity added. Our total bill came to $71. and change. "For me" the title says it all. EVERY THING in The Howard Theatre is OVERPRICED! There is a cover charge of $29.00 bucks per person. I HIGHLY recommend, if you should venture out to the Howard Theatre that you FIRST seek out any of the discount on-line services I.e. Livingsocial or Groupon for a discounted cover charge ticket. There is a a $10.00 per person charge once seated.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE: I did have a good time. The level of the performance was excellent. The food was okay; the specialty drink I had delivered the right amount of flavor and alcohol. Our waiter disappeared and we were serviced by a waitress who I would classify as "excellent" in service delivery. I asked for wet naps; the restaurant/theater did not have any. Our waitress disappeared and returned with paper towels that she wet for me. I inquired about the cost of the valet parking t the door; she said she was very new, and did not know but would find out. She came back promptly to give me the answer. (We would have saved 6.75 had we paid at the door.) I am absolutely sorry we failed to get her name; but I believe she has a sense of customer service. AND would have earned 20% gratuity had we been given the option (we COULD have added it in; but decided to agree to their terms for tipping). Not sure how I would have reacted if the service was lousy...

Yes, I would go to the Howard Theatre again, following my guidelines for seeking out a discounted cover charge. If all levels of performances are like the one I experienced it is worth the cost of a (discounted) cover. Before arriving I will eat heartily and upon arriving drink very slowly.
Written January 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

waist32
8 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
The good: The self-parking lot one block from the theater is $20 although small in size- come early to get a parking spot. The acoustics of Howard Theater are very good. The seating is reasonable.
The bad: Here are some awful things about how the Howard Theater and specifically the Beres Hammond concert on 8/16/19 that I attended. The first issue is that there was a House DJ who blew out our eardrums with intense volume music for his overextended playtime. He wasted our time for well over 2.5 hours of playtime. The concert (one act only- Beres Hammond) was supposed to start at 8 pm. Instead Beres came on at 9:45 pm! Nearly 1 hour and 45 minutes later than he was supposed to. That is ridiculous delay considering he was the only act. The DJ of Howard Theater played music from 6:30-9:00 pm after which our eardrums were fried. Then ANOTHER DJ who was Jamaican (nice guy to be honest) from the entourage of Beres Hammond took over after the curtain lifted (DJ Fano?) and he literally DJ's for another 45 minutes of intense eardrum-cracking music. Now how can you have 2 DJ's at a reggae concert when the main act is supposed to come out at 8 pm and instead chooses to come out at 9:45 pm. Is that the fault of Howard Theater for poor planning??? Or is it Beres Hammond who held everything up?? Impossible to know but if you are the venue (Howard Theater management), you have an obligation to make sure the musical acts go out within a short and reasonable window of the planned concert time (in this case 8 pm became almost 10 pm). That is simply one of the worst planned concerts I have been to. Wolftrap, Verizon Center, and Hamilton all have had big name acts and smaller acts that truly start their concerts on time. Disappointed in the execution of a concert at Howard Theater!!
Written August 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Regina B
Fort Washington, MD1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Friends
Somebody needs to be fired! My cousins and I purchased a booth to see Babyface this week. Unfortunately, we were told that the Manger/General Manager, or Owner gave away our seats to his guests! Really! And they refused to move. Our tickets clearly indicated the reservation number 200 and identified where the booth was located. It was an utter mess. We missed the show. There is more to this story; it will be told. Trust and believe that! No one made them move, we were embarrassed, inconvenienced and traumatized to say the least! One cousin flew in from Georgia. We are out of money and time wasted. It's not over. Trust! Bad management. This is fraudulent. Having someone pay additional money for tickets and not honor it. Shameful. How many others had this experience? I'm sure we are not the only ones. This will be taken to the top and noted everywhere possible until justice is served! We will not lie down and take this; neither should anyone else!
Written July 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Myknee
Washington DC, DC7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Friends
Gorgeous historic venue, decent gospel music, cold food, and get up from your table and fetch your own coffee. This describes a most disappointing experience with the Howard Theater Gospel Brunch this past Sunday May 26th, where a group of 9 friends gathered to celebrate a birthday. Cost for the "hot buffet" and show was $35 plus an additional $10 "service charge" per ticket, which was not worth the cost to eat a *cold* brunch of hot food and with no coffee service. We were so excited to celebrate with a Southern Style Soul Food brunch and joyful music and came away feeling ripped off.
Written May 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Loaela H
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
This was FIRST and LAST experience with The Howard Theatre! If I could give negative stars - this venue would definitely get a negative star rating. I attended the Layla Hathaway event onn Friday June 9th and the set up for this concert was totally inappropriate for the genre of music and the age group of the audience.

Layla Hathaway would fall under Jazz, easy listening genre. So the atmosphere and ambiance is relaxed, grown-up crowd. More a super club where people would pay to sit, eat dinner, drink,and enjoy Layla's performance.

This venue got it ALL wrong!!! First, there was not enough seating for the concert goers. They had the nerve to remove all the tables on the main floor area resulting in practically zero seating for general admission ticket holders. That type of set up could be understandable for a different genre (hip hop, Go-Go, reggae) but totally inappropriate for this event.

Many folks who I spoke to that had attended events at the Howard Theatre previously were shocked that all the tables were removed on the main floor. If they were going to do that they should have made it clear that general admission tickets would be standing room only.

Second, they failed to plan for elderly attendees, or those with handicap or wheelchair accessible needs. So many folks stood in line outside the venue only to finally get in and find EVERY table "reserved for VIP" with standing only for the general ticket holders for the ENTIRE performance. Again this should have been made very clear at the time of ticket purchase.

The other thing that was totally disrespectful to the customers were that servers were told to insist that patrons close their tab and pay immediately after ordering. When asked the reason. The server we had admitted that the venue wanted to prevent folks from leaving before paying their tab. Not only was that offensive but it confirms why the Howard Theatre has the type of reviews it does. You don't treat customers that way.

At one point they received so many complaints from furious patrons that they started wheeling out chairs for people to sit on in the main floor area during the performance in a poor attempt to rectify the situation! It was the most unorganized and worst treatment I have ever experienced. I will definitely NOT be back!!!
Written June 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rjones621
Richmond, VA89 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Friends
We attended the Howard Theatre to see a Chante Moore concert on Saturday, May 24, 2014. We arrived at 6:10 pm, concert was supposed to start at 7:30 pm, after being seated we had enough time to order food/drinks before the concert began. Huge mistake in thinking it was a logical assumption; a couple was at our table and attempted to order from a menu and was told they were looking at the "wrong" menu (the staff placed 2 different menus on the table). Our waiter was not the most pleasant and was sweating profusely, after an hour of no food or drinks, I asked for the manager (who is invisible when patrons have a concern or complaint)! The manager never showed, but another waitress did come to take our order, drinks arrived 30 minutes later and food about 20 minutes later (after being told that they did not have the ingredients to make crab cakes). The wait staff are also responsible for seating which makes it worst for those wanting to order, many times you are forgotten. The concert and venue are great, but service is very poor. Expect to pay about double for whatever you order with the gratuity and service charge. Food was okay once it arrived,
Written May 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Penny703
Arlington, VA19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013 • Friends
Go. Show starts at 1pm; doors open at 11:30am. No reserved seating so go early to enjoy French toast and the best fried chicken wings you've ever had for breakfast. We had a table mid- room about 3 rows back from the stage. Great viewing. Acoustics are excellent and the restored theater is breath-taking. But the real reason to go is the music--it's uplifting and the group of singers is unbelievably talented! We had an amazingly good time. Program changes so check online and get advance tickets (cheaper) since it can sell out.
Written November 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BillPatton
Fairfax County, Virginia29 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Family
The music was fantastic! But the service was just horrible. We arrived at 12:30 to get good seats for a 1:30 show. We were at our seats by 12:45 and a waiter came over in due course. By 2:15 - we still did not have our food. NOTHING. Around 1:45 I walked to the kitchen door and begged for some rolls or something -- and they gave me some nachos. When food did arrive
- we did not have any silverware and I had to ask FOUR people before we got any. Nobody ever came back to refill our waters or ask if we wanted another drink. Even after the show - it was a mess - 30 min after the show we were still trying to settle our bill. So frustrating. I complained to the waiter several times - and he apologized -- but thats it. Service Charge was included -- so thats, that.

The food was fine -- limited menu and I typically don't eat fried food -buts thats about all they had - but I knew that going in. What I ate tasted good.
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bob A
Nebraska City, NE1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
-Notified after buying VIP seats that there was a limited menu, closest thing to an entree was a pizza. That pizza was much like something that would be baked by a light bulb starter oven.

-Had to get my own drinks after waiting for the waitress 20 mins for the first round and another 20 for the second. Never got requested ice.

-Manager offered a burger or dessert after we ordered pizza and fish tacos instead of what we wanted. Bill shows up with burger charged. I explained to the manager that I thought he had offered the burger or dessert as a makeup for the limited menu. He said the makeup was offering the burger even though it wasn't on the menu. I told him we wouldn't have ordered the other things first if we had the opportunity to get the burger the first time.

-Additionally, they spent a lot of time explaining why everything was so out of order ... management transition, new chef, different menu ... customers don't need to hear why you can't deliver competent service.

-If your favorite act is at the Howard and you have free tickets, go. Otherwise, don't suffer through the insensitive and insulting treatment.
Written October 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 94
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Howard Theatre - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Washington DC HotelsWashington DC Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Washington DC
All things to do in Washington DC
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars