A new category will be added to the 2006 Tony Awards: best performance by an actor or actress re-creating a role in a production. In other words, a prize for best replacement.
The decision was made Thursday by the Tony Awards administration committee, which meets periodically through the season to discuss eligibility of the season's Broadway shows and other Tony business.
The new category requires that the nominee must not have appeared in the role when the original production opened on Broadway and must be contracted to play the role for a minimum of six months of public performances. The next Tonys are set for June 11.
Among replacements who were greeted with critical and audience approval in recent years were such performers as Reba McEntire in "Annie Get Your Gun" and Brooke Shields in "Wonderful Town."