MacDougal Street today can hardly be described as paradise. Crammed with NYU students jostling for falafel, or the bridge-and-tunnel crowd fighting for a seat at Panchito’s, it’s difficult to picture the street as a hub of subversion and artistry. But once upon a time, it was.
In the 1920s, a Polish Jewish lesbian immigrant named Eve Adams (born Eva Kotchever) owned and operated a tearoom on the block that showcased the work of local writers, musicians and poets. Now Barbara Kahn’s musical, “Unreachable Eden,” which opened February 9 at Theater for the New City, tells the heartbreaking tale of Adams’ deportation from her adopted country, and her struggle to return in the years leading up to the Second World War.