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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Scores Highest Debut on Billboard Album Chart for a Broadway Musical Since 1961

Joe Webb

by Joe Webb

Published March 08, 2017
Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

For the first time since the 1960s, a musical’s cast recording has debuted in the Billboard album chart's top 10 — and it wasn’t Hamilton. After being officially released on February 3, Dear Evan Hansen’s cast recording earned the number 8 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

Opening on Broadway in December to rapturous reviews, Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of an anxious teenager whose life gets turned upside down when a letter he writes becomes intertwined with a fellow student’s death. The musical features music by Oscar-winning La La Land lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, along with a book by Steven Levenson (Masters of Sex). Starring in the show’s title role is actor Ben Platt, best known for playing Benji Applebaum in the Pitch Perfect films.

Dear Evan Hansen earned its Billboard ranking by selling 29,000 equivalent album units during its first week. By taking the number 8 spot, Dear Evan Hansen becomes the highest-charting musical since Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot debuted at number 4 in 1961. The show is also just the fourth musical in the past 50 years to earn a top 10 spot on the Billboard chart, Entertainment Weekly notes, joining Hamilton, Book of Mormon, and the original 1969 production of Hair.

Though Hamilton and its cast recording may have been a cultural sensation, the Pulitzer Prize winner debuted at just number 12 on the Billboard chart in 2015. The cast album, however, had some serious staying power — it later peaked at the number 3 spot, and still sits at number 13 over a year after its release. Book of Mormon, too, earned the number 3 spot on the Billboard chart following the 2011 Tony Awards, though it first debuted at number 31.

Dear Evan Hansen tickets are available directly through the telecharge box office, with prices ranging from $69-$199.
 
 
This post is sponsored by TicketIQ

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