The Godmother

September 2016


The Untold, Truth-Like History
of the 1920s Mafia in Bucks and Hunterdon Counties
An original musical comedy

Chicago had Al Capone. New York had Don Vito Corleone. But Bucks and Hunterdon counties in the 1920’s were home the world’s most intimidating mafia crime lord. After her husband’s untimely death, Magdalena Lambertelli became… The Godmother.

For the first time ever, audiences will learn the fact-like accounts of the sordid origins of Lambertville, Doylestown and New Hope. As the Roaring Twenties arrived, the federal government imposed a strict prohibition on shad fishing in the Delaware River. That served as an open invitation to the crime families – the Irish O’Doyles and the Italian Lambertellis.


The Lambertelli family dominated the lucrative, underwater shad trade. The O’Doyle family was adept at robbing local Quakers, but they soon wanted a taste of the shad action. Speakeasies proliferated along the river between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and none more celebrated than the PEN15 Saloon – which hosted roaring karaoke nights and raucous performances by the “Sextuplets.”

As local tensions built, people seemed to regularly “sleep with the fishes” in the Delaware River. So the Federal Government sent in a shad-prohibition agent to finally bring the mafia to its knees. Soon Godmother’s political grip was even under siege by a new politician from New York City – Donaldo Strump.

And just when it couldn’t seem to get worse for Godmother, her youngest son, Giovanni, became smitten for her rival’s Irish daughter, Colleen. Did this tear the families apart or perhaps help unite them? Did Godmother pursue even grander ambitions than local politics? The history books won’t tell you the truth, but this Phillips’ Mill show just might.


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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus