The award-winning new musical Grey Gardens released its world-premiere recording Aug. 22 with the original Off-Broadway cast. The show's recent Broadway opening Nov. 2 seems to have fueled the jump in sales, landing it back on the chart just inside the Top 10. And 2006's Tony Award-winning Best Musical Jersey Boys reclaims its No. 2 spot from Mamma Mia!, which drops to No. 3.
Along with Wicked and Mamma Mia!, the cast recordings of Monty Python's Spamalot and Avenue Q have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 45 weeks since the chart's inception. Hairspray, which had held steady on the chart, drops off the list this week.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 40 of the 45 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the spot, only being toppled before by the Columbia Records two-disc "Harry" release (comprised of the recording of Broadway's The Pajama Game revival and selections of Connick, Jr.'s 2001 show Thou Shalt Not) and The Color Purple for one week each. Rhino's release of Jersey Boys, following its big Tony win, took hold of the top slot for four weeks.
* A new addition to Billboard's listings, the Top Cast Albums chart debuted in Billboard on Jan. 12, 2006. Stephen Schwartz' Wicked — which opened on Broadway in October 2003 (album released Dec. 16, 2003) — appeared at the top of the first chart. The chart measures sales of albums from stage musicals. Broadway recordings mostly fill the 15-slot table, but cast albums from other locales are also eligible. The addition of the chart to Billboard's 112 charts generates exposure for the genre which does not often chart on the Billboard 200.
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