Poor weather didn’t stop the revelry of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ (HPT) 55th annual Woman of the Year ceremony yesterday, which roasted and toasted Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Although the possibility of rain and snow precluded the traditional parade through the streets of Cambridge, members of the 157th Pudding show, “Terms of Frontierment,” joshed and serenaded Zeta-Jones in traditional Pudding style—irreverently, and in drag.
While being roasted by Mathew J. Ferrante ’05, the president of the Theatricals, and Sam Gale Rosen ’06, the vice-president of the show’s cast, Zeta-Jones enthusiastically fired back.
“For all the brilliance that congregates here, it’s nice to know there’s not a bit of class,” she said. “I’ve sprinkled it, on the Yard.”
In lieu of the parade, Zeta-Jones joined the dramatis personae from the Theatricals on the front steps of the Hasty Pudding theater on Holyoke Street.
Cambridge police officers blockaded the street for ten minutes while Zeta-Jones waved to the crowd of approximately 200 eager fans and received kisses from Ferrante and Gale Rosen. Pudding cast members—posed around the three—sang verses of the show’s theme song, “Terms of Frontierment.”
In the following traditional roast before the awarding of the Pudding Pot, Ferrante and Gale Rosen ribbed Zeta-Jones for her less popular films—particularly The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert—and her job as spokeswoman for T-Mobile.
Zeta-Jones danced, performing the steps “The Welsh Gazelle” and “The Cellular Block Tango,” and sang with a smile. Particular laughs followed Zeta-Jones’ lampoon of the song “When You’re Good To Mama” from the film Chicago, for which Zeta-Jones won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
As she accepted the Pudding Pot at the end of the roast, Zeta-Jones quipped, “It’s good to know they’re not all that bright.” She noted the Pot was missing its spoon and Ferrante offered, “Come back to my room—I’ve got one.”
Zeta-Jones thanked the members of the cast and joked, “This will go next to my Oscar.”
Gesturing to her husband, fellow Hasty Pudding honoree and Oscar-winner Michael Douglas, who was seated in the crowd, she said, “We can have a family of Puddings!”
The members of the Hasty Pudding then presented a special preview version of “Terms of Frontierment,” a musical comedy about a Native American casino and an aspiring cowboy.
Zeta-Jones began her career as a stage actress at the age of 15.
“They said, well, she’s not going to be a brain surgeon, she might as well go into theater,” Zeta-Jones said. She has since acted in nearly two dozen Hollywood films, including The Mask of Zorro, Chicago, Ocean’s Twelve, and Traffic.
The Woman of the Year award, given by members of the Hasty Pudding to a woman who has made a “lasting and significant contribution to the world of entertainment,” began in 1949. 1951 honoree Gertrude Lawrence, whose husband, Richard Aldrich ’25, was a Pudding alumnus, was the first actress to accept.
Actor, producer, and director Tim Robbins will be roasted as Man of the Year next Thursday.
The Man of the Year and Woman of the Year awards also signal the opening of “Terms of Frontierment,” which will run in Cambridge from Feb. 18 until Mar. 20 and will then tour in New York and Bermuda.
—Staff writer Annie M. Lowrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.