Norm Lewis
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Norm Lewis
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Reg E. Cathay, Andre De Shields, La Chanze, S. Epatha Merkerson, Norm Lewis, Anthony Mackie, Melba Moore, Billy Porter, Portia, and Lynn Whitfield are among the nominees for the 2005 Vivan Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Awards, honoring excellence in New York-based Black theater. The "VIV" ceremony, as it is known, will be held at 7:30pm on Monday, November 21 at Aaron Davis Hall (Convent Avenue and West 135th Street).

The Classical Theater of Harlem led the pack with 23 nominations for three shows, Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Caligula, and The Cherry Orchard. Nominations went to director Alfred Preisser, playwright Melvin Van Peebles, and actors Lizan Mitchell, Ty Jones, Carmen Barika, Wendell Pierce, Petronia Paley, and De Shields, among others.

Lincoln Center Theater's production of Dessa Rose garnered 11 nominations, including two for director/choreographer Graciela Daniele, as well as librettist Lynn Ahrens, and actors LaChanze, Lewis and co-star Kecia Lewis. Second Stage's production of Birdie Blue got nine nominations, including ones for playwright Cheryl L. West, director Seret Scott, and actors Merkerson, Porter, and Charles Weldon.

The Billie Holliday Theater's production of Joyce Sylvester's A Freeman's Hope received eight nominations, while the Hadley Player's production of John Henry Redwood's The Old Settler picked up five nominations. White Chocolate earned four nods, for Whitfield, Cathay, supporting actor Erik Laray Harvey, and scenic designer James Noone. Mackie and Portia were nominated for their performances in the Roundabout's production of McReele, and Moore was nominated for her solo show Sweet Songs of the Soul.

Other productions that received nominations were Robeson, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Home, Day of Reckoning, Driving While Black, Lynch Play, Plenty of Time, A Piece of the Game, Yesterdays: A Tribute to Lady Day, Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery, and My Children, My Africa.

Tickets to the awards range from $25-$100. Call 212-650-7148 for information.