Broadway's Wicked is perched atop the list with the 2006 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Jersey Boys and Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia! — the triumvirate have held the top three positions now for seven consecutive weeks.
The award-winning new musical Grey Gardens released its world premiere recording Aug. 22 with the original Off-Broadway cast. The Playwrights Horizons hit — by composer Scott Frankel, lyricist Michael Korie, and librettist Doug Wright based on the cult documentary film — heads to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre Oct. 3 for previews towards a Nov. 2 opening with Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson starring as an eccentric mother-daughter team.
Walt Disney Records' recording of the Phil Collins musical Tarzan rounds out the top five.
The Decca Broadway release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 30 of the 35 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 the Four Seasons musical's Tony win, took hold of the top slot for four weeks.
Remaining on the chart since its inception (along with Wicked and Mamma Mia!) are the recordings of Monty Python's Spamalot, Hairspray and Avenue Q. This past season's hits The Color Purple (on Angel), The Drowsy Chaperone (Ghostlight Records) and The Wedding Singer (Masterworks Broadway) also placed alongside two other Disney Records releases: The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
A recent 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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