***Yes, but that's as it was per Tony nominating rules in those days, yes? I mean Tammy Grimes winning supporting for THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN?***
Yes. I understand WHY it happened, but it still bothers me.
***I disagree with you regarding the status of Ed Earl - it's clearly the leading male role in the musical. The supporting roles in WHOREHOUSE are Reverend P. Thorpe and the Governor.***
Ed Earl is definitely the largest male role in the musical, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a leading role. Some might argue that WHOREHOUSE has one leading role, Miss Mona, and all the other roles -- male and female -- are supporting, even Ed Earl. But I would say that Ed Earl is borderline, and I certainly don't think it would be inappropriate if someone playing that role in some production were nominated for an award in a leading actor category.