WASHINGTON -- The Howard Theatre has been known for helping provide a stage for such legendary performers as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis and more. During its initial run from 1910 the early 1980s, the theater catered to a mostly African-American clientele. The venue did not host one LGBT event in its 70-plus year history.

Chapter two for the Howard begin earlier this April when the historic landmark reopened. One of the first performers to grace the stage of the renovated theater was open stand up Wanda Sykes. Not two months later, Capital Pride is bringing the first LGBT event to the theater on Friday, a Brightest Young Things party called WildLife.

Ten LGBT performers (including drag queen Heidi Glüm), DJs (including JD Samson of Le Tigre and MEN), bands and cultural figures will turn the Howard into a festive, rambunctious party atmosphere. Held the day before Capital Pride Parade, consider it a kick off for more fun to come.

View our slideshow preview of the performers that will be part of the 2012 WildLife party.

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  • 2011 WildLife

  • Amanda Lepore

  • AutoRock

  • Big/Bright

  • DJ MAJR (SHIFT/Siren)

  • Heidi Glüm

  • JD Samson of Le Tigre & MEN

  • DJ LadyFace

  • Natty Boom (Anthology of Booty)

  • Pu$$y Noir


  • Howard Theatre 2012

  • Howard Theatre Gala Opening

    People stand outside Howard Theatre during the gala opening of the historic landmark on April 12, 2012. First opened in 1910 in the "Black Broadway" neighborhood of the capital, it has remained closed for the past 32 years until reopening on April 09, 2012. In its heyday, the Howard Theatre featured vaudeville, live theater, musicals and local talents shows, bringing the newest and biggest names of the era in black entertainment. Some of the most celebrated entertainers who performed there include Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis Jr., Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Miles Davis.

  • Howard Theatre 2006

  • Howard Theatre Restoration Rebirth

    Opened in 1910, the Howard Theatre was known for catering to an African-American clientele, and played host to many of the great black musical artists of the early and mid-twentieth century. The Howard was billed as the "Theater of the People", and played host to two theatrical organizations, the Lafayette Players and the Howard University Players.