Mary Poppins and White Christmas Float Upon Billboard Chart

News   Mary Poppins and White Christmas Float Upon Billboard Chart The cast recordings of Mary Poppins and White Christmas enter the Billboard Top Cast Album chart while Mamma Mia! surges back to the No. 2 slot.

Decca Broadway's Wicked remains steady at the top of the chart for a 16th consecutive week. Rhino's Jersey Boys, which had kept pace right behind until this week, drops to No. 3.

The new Masterworks Broadway release of A Chorus Line and Walt Disney Records' recording of The Lion King (which jumped up the chart two weeks ago from No. 12 to No. 4) round out the top five.

Mary Poppins began its Broadway run at the New Amsterdam Theatre Oct. 14 — which no doubt bolstered the Walt Disney original London cast recording to No. 8 on the chart. Ghostlight Records' recording of White Christmas — which was seen regionally in San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles — hit stores Oct. 17. The recording features original stage stars Anastasia Barzee, Brian d’Arcy James, Jeffry Denman and Meredith Patterson.

Along with Wicked and Mamma Mia!, the cast recordings of Monty Python's Spamalot, Hairspray and Avenue Q have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 43 weeks since the chart's inception.

PS Classics' recent release of the Broadway musical Grey Gardens re-enters the chart after a two-week absence at No. 14. The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 38 of the 43 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.

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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.

Billboard can be found on the web at www.billboard.com. Full charts are available by subscription at www.billboard.biz.