Still wondering how it could be that the Tony Awards nominating committee came up with just four shows to fill the five slots in the best musical category? Me, too. So I excavated the TonyAwards.com site and found the explanation by clicking through to a pdf titled: NEW RULE ON NUMBER OF NOMINEES IN EACH OF THE FOUR BEST SHOW CATEGORIES
First, you should know that the nominating committee consists of a rotating group of 50 theater professionals who are required to see each of the eligible shows. Now here's the accounting rule that delivered a knockout punch to musicals such as "The Bridges of Madison County," "Rocky," "Bullets Over Broadway" and "If/Then," while giving us a lean four best musical nominees: "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder," "After Midnight," "Aladdin" and "Beautiful -- The Carole King Musical":
"Where there are nine or more eligible shows in a Best Show category, at the Tony Nominating Meeting, the Nominating Committee will be instructed to cast one vote each for four eligible shows as nominees on his/her secret ballot. Such ballot shall be collected and tabulated by a representative of the Accounting Firm. The four eligible shows with the highest number of votes will automatically be the nominees in such category. The Accounting Firm will determine if a fifth nominee shall be added to the category in the event that the difference in votes between the fourth highest ranked show and the
fifth highest ranked show is three votes or less."
There are probably a lot of people scratching their heads today and wondering, "Missed it by how much?"