Black Ensemble Theater Announces World Premiere of ‘One Name Only’ Features Hit of Aretha, Gladys, Patti, Chaka & Tribute To Whitney

Black Ensemble Theater announces the World Premiere of One Name Only (Featuring the Hits of Aretha, Gladys, Patti, Chaka and A Tribute to Whitney), written and directed by Black Ensemble Associate Director Rueben Echoles.One Name Only will be presented at the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, September 28 – November 11.

In true Black Ensemble Theater style, One Name Only (Featuring the Music of Aretha, Gladys, Patti, Chaka and A Tribute to Whitney) pays tribute to the Ladies of Soul in this exciting world premiere musical. Written and directed by BE Associate Director Rueben Echoles, One Name Only sets the classic hits of soul music’s most celebrated divas in the world of reality TV—complete with contestant confessionals, a panel of judges, and thrilling secret guest appearances. Just like your favorite reality show, each contestant tries to belt her way to the top, while the audience votes for which starlet-to-be should be declared the winner. With the possibility of five different endings to the play, this is one show you’ll want to see again and again.


Title: One Name Only

(Featuring the Hits of Aretha, Gladys, Patti, Diana, Chaka and a Tribute to Whitney)

Written & directed by: BE Associate Director Rueben Echoles

Musical Director: Robert Reddrick

Dates: September 28 – November 11, 2012

Press Performance: Sunday, October 7 at 3:00 p.m.


Schedule: Wed & Thurs: 7:30 p.m.

Friday: 8:00 p.m.

Saturday: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Sunday: 3:00 p.m.

Location: Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street. Valet parking is available.

Ticket prices: $55 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.

Box Office: Buy online at or call (773) 769-4451

The Black Ensemble Theater

Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.


On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space; rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage. The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), is expected late fall.


The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts. For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, please visit or call773-769-4451.