"Chicago" Soundtrack Soars on Billboard Charts

News   "Chicago" Soundtrack Soars on Billboard Charts The soundtrack to the Miramax film "Chicago" continues to fly off the shelves.

Variety reports that the recording of the Kander and Ebb songs by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere moved from fourth to second place in the Billboard charts in its second week in record stores. The Epic Records CD sold nearly 92,000 units during the week past, bringing the total sales to 176,000 copies. The best seller of the week was Norah Jones' debut disc, "Come Away With Me," on the Blue Note label, which sold 112,000 copies.

The Golden Globe Award-winning "Chicago" also did well at the box office last week. The Rob Marshall-directed motion picture moved into the number three spot, bringing in a weekend gross of $8.5 million, a remarkable feat for a movie that is still in limited release. To date, "Chicago" has grossed a total of $40.6 million, just a few million shy of its estimated $45 million price tag. The film will open everywhere Feb. 7, just a few days prior to this year's Oscar nominations: The 75th Anniversary Academy Award nominations will be announced Feb. 11.

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Featuring a star-studded cast led by Zellweger (Roxie Hart), Zeta-Jones (Velma Kelly) and Gere (Billy Flynn), the "Chicago" company also includes John C. Reilly (Amos Hart), Dominic West (Fred Caseley), Christine Baranski (Mary Sunshine), Queen Latifah (Mama Morton) as well as Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, Lucy Liu, Mya, Marc Calamia, Deidre Goodwin, Sebastian La Cause, Mary Ann Lamb and a cameo from original Chicago star Chita Rivera.

Marshall, the choreographer of Broadway's Kiss of the Spider Woman and the revivals of Damn Yankees, She Loves Me, Cabaret and Little Me, directed the $45 million film, his motion-picture debut. Bill Condon wrote the "Chicago" screenplay for Miramax Studios, and the film's cinematographer was Dion Beebe. The Tony-winning lighting team of Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer lit the film. John Kander and Fred Ebb's musical, which features such songs as "All That Jazz," "Mister Cellophane," "Class" and "Nowadays," debuted on Broadway in June 1975 with choreography by the late Bob Fosse and a cast led by Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. The Tony-winning revival opened in November 1996 with Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, Joel Grey and James Naughton in the lead roles. Featuring direction by Walter Bobbie and choreography by Reinking "in the style of Bob Fosse," the musical satire reopened at the Ambassador Theatre Jan. 29.