One of the most touching fairy tales ever written and one of the most popular musicals as well, «Beauty and the Beast» opened in Athens last night. Adam Productions has brought the famous story about the power of love to the stage of the Badminton Theater, where it is being performed until November 25. The musical, which features lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and music by Alan Menken, has become the much-loved favorite of millions of people all over the world and is being shown in Greece for the first time. The story is about a handsome prince who is much too involved with himself. When he has the chance to help out an old lady, he chooses instead to be mean to her, but she turns out to be a beautiful woman with magical powers who curses him. Her spell makes him very ugly and engulfs him in loneliness. His sole companion, left to him by the witch, is a magical mirror through which he can view the world. The only way to break the spell he is under is to learn to love other people and to be loved for who he really is. The first Disney musical production to visit Greece, the play has been a huge-box office hit all over the world, staged in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Tokyo and London, as well as being the recipient of nine Tony Awards. After a 13-year run, the Broadway production closed down and it is the British production, currently touring the world, that has come to the stage of the Badminton Theater. The colorful spectacle, full of imagination, humor, music and dance, features not just the main characters but also different kinds of homeware that come alive and dance on stage, such as clocks, teapots and candles. The production stars Matthew Cammelle in the role of the Beast. Cammelle’s career includes a run as the Phantom in another highly popular musical, «The Phantom of the Opera,» as well as other West End productions and tours. The Glasgow-born Ashley Oliver, who plays Beauty, recently played the part of Dorothy in «The Wizard of Oz» at the Epsom Playhouse. Badminton Theater, Goudi Military Park, tel 211.108.6024. Tickets from the theater box office (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.) and Virgin Megastores. Credit card holders can make phone bookings on 210.884.0600 as well as online at www.ticketnet.gr.