March Madness is underway, which means it's time for theatre fans to vote in the third annual Broadway Brackets Championship. For this year's bracket, fans will decide which Grammy-winning Best Musical Theater Album will reign supreme as the 2019 Broadway Brackets Champion.
Here’s how it works: Playbill looked at the 16 most recent Best Musical Theater Album Grammy winners and placed them into two “divisions”: 2004–2011 and 2012–2019. We then tallied the total number of weeks each cast album spent on the Billboard charts and ranked them accordingly. In the event of a tie, the number of Tony Awards won by the musical determined its ranking.
For example, the cast albums of Wicked (2005) and Hamilton (2016) spent 114 weeks and 181 weeks on the Billboard charts, respectively, making them the top-ranking shows in their divisions. They were then paired accordingly with a musical in their division that spent the least amount of weeks on the charts. Each bracket was then broken down into subsequent match-ups based on number of weeks spent on the charts.
Here’s a look at the breakdown and ranking for the Sweet Sixteen Best Musical Theater Album Grammy winners:
(1) Wicked (2005) — 114 weeks
(2) Jersey Boys (2007) — 64 weeks
(3) Monty Python's Spamalot (2006) — 8 weeks
(4) Spring Awakening (2008) — 2 weeks; 9 Tony Award wins
(5) In The Heights (2009) — 2 weeks; 4 Tony Award wins
(6) American Idiot (2011) —2 weeks; 2 Tony Award wins
(7) West Side Story (2009 revival) — Zero weeks; 1 Tony Award win
(8) Gypsy (2004) — Zero weeks; Zero Tony Award wins
(1) Hamilton (2016) — 181 weeks
(2) Dear Evan Hansen (2018) — 26 weeks
(3) The Book of Mormon (2012) — 9 weeks
(4) Kinky Boots (2014) — 3 weeks
(5) Once (2013) — 2 weeks; 8 Tony Award wins
(6) Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (2015) — 2 weeks; 2 Tony Award wins
(7) The Band's Visit (2019) — Zero weeks; 10 Tony Award wins
(8) The Color Purple (2015 revival) — Zero weeks; 2 Tony Award wins
Broadway fans can print out their brackets and share their picks on social media using the hashtag #BwayBrackets.
If you aren't familiar with some of the cast albums, listen to these sample tracks on our curated Spotify playlist:
Vote for the musicals in Division 1, Round 1 you want to move ahead to the next round:
Voting for Division 2, Round 1 will begin Saturday, March 23 at noon ET. The 2018 Broadway Brackets Champion will be announced April 2.
Best of all—there are no wrong answers. This is all about the show you love best and the cast albums fans have enjoyed over the years!