The Tony Awards' 7 Deadly Sins: Actresses Who Were Nominated in the Wrong Category

By Ben Rimalower
07 Jun 2014

6. Alyson Reed

1988 Tony Award nominee, Best Featured Actress In A Musical for Cabaret

Should have been nominated for Best Actress In A Musical

This is another ridiculous shoehorning. It's been frequently said the 1988 Best Actress In A Musical category was a competitive one. In an awards night upset, Joanna Gleason's beloved Baker's Wife in Into the Woods edged out Patti LuPone's front-running Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, along with Broadway favorites Alison Fraser and Judy Kuhn in Romance/Romance and Chess, not to mention mega-stars Bernadette Peters and Sarah Brightman, who were not even nominated for Into The Woods and The Phantom of the Opera.

Perhaps, in consideration of this, the producers of the 1987 revival of Cabaret (starring Joel Grey, now above the title, but ineligible for his recreation of the Emcee) submitted their Sally Bowles, Alyson Reed, in the Best Featured Actress In A Musical category, possibly calculating she had a better chance in this less competitive pool. But I mean, come on! Had these producers ever seen Cabaret? I'm willing to blur the lines between lead and supporting actor a bit to accommodate extenuating circumstances. I supposed you could even argue that some performers have such a grand presence that an otherwise featured role becomes a lead in their hands, but Sally Bowles is a lead no matter how you slice it. Unfortunately, for Alyson Reed, even in the Best Featured Actress In A Musical category, Sally Bowles was not a Tony-winning role.