Team StarKid is back on the Billboard charts with their latest release, "The Space Tour." The set flies in at No. 2 on the Cast Albums chart, selling 2,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Space" is blocked from the pole position by the No. 1 debut of the original Broadway cast recording of new musical "Once" (based on the hit film of the same name).
The StarKid production troupe (which includes "Glee" star Darren Criss) has made quite a name for itself since forming at the University of Michigan a few years ago. With a tiny budget (only $150), the ensemble composed and produced the original parody show "A Very Potter Musical" in April 2009.
Shortly thereafter, a filmed version of "Potter" -- a spoof of the "Harry Potter" books and films -- went viral on YouTube and made the StarKid folks stars.
The "Space Tour" album was recorded during the November 2011 trek of the same name, and features highlights from the troupe's earlier shows, including "A Very Potter Musical" and its follow-up "A Very Potter Sequel."
Brian Holden, one of StarKid's founding members, says that the ensemble is "definitely going to do another tour, but it's going to be totally different from the Space Tour." He's mum on the next trek's details, saying "As for where and when the next tour will be, we'll keep that a secret for now." For those that missed the Space Tour, aside from the album, a DVD of the show will be released on March 24.
Next up for the group in the short term is their newest parody musical, "Holy Musical B@man!" The show will debut on their YouTube channel in April.
StarKid's Billboard chart history dates back almost exactly two years this week. On March 27, 2010, its cast recording of the cheeky "Me and My Dick" musical debuted at No. 11 on Cast Albums. It made history as the first student-produced show to reach a Billboard chart.
Since then, the StarKid team has notched Billboard hits with 2010's compilation "A Very StarKid Album" and 2011's "Starship" cast recording. The latter debuted at No. 1 on the Cast Albums chart dated May 14, 2011.
It's been a whirlwind couple of years for the StarKid gang -- something that isn't lost on Holden.
"We've been unbelievably fortunate and overwhelmingly challenged at the same time," he says. "Being a part of StarKid has completely changed the course of my life. But more than anything I feel that all of our success is the direct result of our incredible fan base."
StarKid's YouTube channel has 225,000 subscribers and has amassed over 115 million views. The official Team StarKid Twitter account has nearly 100,000 followers, while their Facebook page has 177,000 likes.
"I think the past two years have been a coming of age story for StarKid," Holden says, "and the fans are growing with us, side by side, every step of the way."