By Ernio Hernandez
06 Jul 2006
With a score from pop singer-songwriter Collins, the new album featuring Josh Strickland in the title role and Jenn Gambatese as his Jane was released June 27 by the company behind the 1999 animated film which serves as source material.
Rhino's release of the Four Seasons backstory musical, which hit stores Nov. 1, 2005, had charted on the Billboard list for 22 weeks before reaching the top slot for the first time June 22. It now reaches its third consecutive week at the top.
Wicked has topped the chart for 22 of the 27 weeks the chart has been published. The Decca Broadway release of the Stephen Schwartz musical had dominated the spot, only being toppled twice before by the two-disc "Harry" recording and The Color Purple for one week each.
The original Broadway cast albums for the Tony Award-nominated musical The Drowsy Chaperone (on Ghostlight Records) and Mamma Mia! (Decca Broadway) round out the top five.
This past season's The Wedding Singer (Masterworks Broadway), The Color Purple (Angel) and Sweeney Todd (Nonesuch) also placed alongside previous hits Monty Python's Spamalot, Hairspray and Avenue Q. Columbia Records double release, "Harry on Broadway Act 1," (with Connick, Jr.'s work in The Pajama Game and Thou Shalt Not) slips down while Rent re-enters.
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.
Billboard can be found on the web at www.billboard.com. Full charts are available by subscription at www.billboard.biz.