On the Boards: Jesus Christ Superstar Rises to Enter Billboard Chart; Wicked Defying at No. 1

News   On the Boards: Jesus Christ Superstar Rises to Enter Billboard Chart; Wicked Defying at No. 1
 
Whether fueled by news of a canceled production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical at a former Nazi death camp-turned-museum at Majdanek in Poland, or by the lingering effects of a religious-heavy week (with Easter and Passover), Jesus Christ Superstar entered Billboard's Top Cast Album chart.

Broadway juggernaut Wicked (on Decca Broadway) remains atop the chart for its 15th week. And for a third consecutive week, Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia! is at No. 2 with Rhino's Jersey Boys' cast album at No. 3.

Angel Records' The Color Purple and last season's Monty Python's Spamalot (on Decca Broadway) round out the top five.

Current long-running shows Rent and The Phantom of the Opera both make the list twice — for their respective cast albums and "Highlights" CDs. This season's Sweeney Todd also charted along with previous hit Hairspray, Avenue Q and Beauty and the Beast.

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.

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