I wonder if major changes were made between the East Coast productions (the Huntington was a transfer from Yale) and Chicago (which transferred to Broadway) - so that a reconsideration was justified. Or maybe the board was more willing to award a New York-bound production. I'm not sure about the competition in 1990, but it's hard to argue with the decision. Looking at the finalists, I'm sorry to say I don't know the Maria Irene Fornes play (it's not in iobdb so may never have been done in NY), but I don't think Love Letters is one of A.R. Gurney's best.