Every year, the Tony Awards nominating committee meets several times to decide who will be eligible for nominations in each category. Sometimes they adhere to clear precedents established in previous years, and other times more "activist" nominating committees attempt to alter the guidelines.
This can be a good thing. The Featured Actor/Featured Actress categories, which in years past were based strictly on featured billing (rather than above-the-title Leading Actor/Leading Actress billing) regardless of the size of the role being played, have evolved and come to be based on the size of the role. Some years, the nominating committee must deal with unique circumstances that require their decision — for example whether to allow Alan Cumming to be nominated this year recreating his Emcee in the Mendes/Marshall Cabaret (in keeping with previous similar situations such as Lonette McKee in Show Boat and Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly!, Cumming was deemed not eligible).
Even rarer have been the times the committee broke with precedent, like when Company replacement Larry Kert was ruled eligible for a nomination in place of original star Dean Jones, or when an entire replacement category was announced, then not used and later canceled. It's all fascinating for the theatre-lover and then, sometimes it's frustrating, when the nominating committee gets it wrong, as in these Seven Deadly Sins.
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