I really hated how the Tonys dropped the categories of Leading Actor and Actress in a Musical in 1985.
It's my contention that they could've fielded those categories. For Leading Actor in a Musical, ''Grind'' had Ben Vereen, Timothy Nolen and Stubby Kaye all above the title. And even though Daniel Jenkins and Ron Richardson (from ''Big River'') were below the title, the Tonys had the discretion to bump them up to Leading. In fact, the Drama Desk Awards nominated Jenkins and Richardson in Outstanding Actor in a Musical. Plus, the Drama Desk also nominated Mark Hamill and Harry Groener from ''Harrigan 'N Hart'' in Leading.
For Leading Actress: Leilani Jones (from ''Grind'') was above the title, but got bumped down to Featured. She could've competed with Mary Beth Peil (''The King and I'') in Leading; except in this case, Anna's been a principal role: Lawrence, Murphy and O'Hara. Other gals that could've been bumped up to Leading were Darlene Love, who had many solos in ''Leader in the Pack,'' and Christine Ebersole and Armelia McQueen in ''Harrigan 'N Hart.''
In 1989, Broadway had another lean season, but it didn't make the same mistake; the Tonys filled out Leading Actor and Actress in a Musical.