Decca Broadway dominates the top of the chart with four of the five slots. The hit musical Wicked is lodged at No. 1 with Mamma Mia! at No. 3 and Spring Awakening and Monty Python's Spamalot rounding out the top five. (Rhino's release of the 2006 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Jersey Boys holds steady in the No. 2 position.)
Along with Avenue Q, the cast recordings of Wicked, Mamma Mia! and Monty Python's Spamalot have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 52 weeks since the chart's inception.
New to the chart is the special edition of the original Broadway cast recording of Dreamgirls released by Hip-O/Geffen. The Decca Broadway release featuring the 1982 original cast of the Henry Krieger-Tom Eyen musical — which can currently be seen in movie theaters with Beyoncé Knowles, Anika Noni Rose and Jennifer Hudson — also placed on the charts two weeks ago.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 47 of the 52 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the spot, only being toppled 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, also took hold of the top slot for four weeks.
* 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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