Rhino's Jersey Boys cast album jumps up to the No. 2 spot while Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia! remains at No. 3. "Harry on Broadway Act 1," (with Connick, Jr.'s work in The Pajama Game and Thou Shalt Not) and The Color Purple round out the top five.
Wicked reaches its 21st week (of the 23 weeks the chart has been published) in the No. 1 slot. The Decca Broadway release of the Stephen Schwartz musical has dominated the spot for most the chart's history (only the Columbia Records two-disc "Harry" recording and The Color Purple have toppled it for one week each.)
This season's Sweeney Todd charted alongside last season's Monty Python's Spamalot (on Decca Broadway) and previous hits Hairspray and Avenue Q. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee re-enters the chart at No. 15.
The new Decca Broadway release of the acclaimed Carnegie Hall concert of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's South Pacific starring Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell also placed with current long-running shows Rent (both the cast albums and "Highlights" CDs) and The Phantom of the Opera highlights.
* 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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