NY Post

Jennifer Coolidge is going to Harvard — for Hasty Pudding honor

Jennifer Coolidge has one more trophy to add to her shelf this awards season.

The breakout “White Lotus” crowd-pleaser, 61, will receive the 2023 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year accolade from Harvard University.

On Feb. 4, the Boston native will command a parade through Harvard Square and Hasty Pudding will then host a roast of her.

“We are so excited to welcome Jennifer Coolidge back to her hometown and to Harvard, the iconic setting of ‘Legally Blonde,’ ” said Maya Dubin, Harvard’s Man and Woman of the Year coordinator, in a statement.

USA Today

‘Better Call Saul’ star Bob Odenkirk named Harvard’s 2023 Hasty Pudding Man of the Year

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Award-winning actor, writer and bestselling author Bob Odenkirk, perhaps best known as shady lawyer Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” was named 2023 Man of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals on Thursday.

Odenkirk is scheduled to receive his Pudding Pot award at a celebratory roast Feb. 2, after which he will attend a preview of Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 174th production, “COSMIC RELIEF!,” the group announced.

“When choosing our 2023 Man of the Year, I immediately knew we better call Bob Odenkirk,” producer Aidan Golub said in a statement. “We’re cooking up a lot of surprises to celebrate Mr. Odenkirk’s contributions to the world of comedy both in front of and behind the camera.”

‘I just went down’:Bob Odenkirk opens up about heart attack on ‘Better Call Saul’ set

Bob Odenkirk

Who has received the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year award?

Last year’s recipient was Jason Bateman, and previous honorees include Bob Hope, Dustin Hoffman and Sean Connery.

In the last decade, here’s who has been honored with the Pudding’s Man of the Year Award:

  • 2022: Jason Bateman
  • 2020: Ben Platt
  • 2019: Milo Ventimiglia
  • 2018: Paul Rudd
  • 2017: Ryan Reynolds
  • 2016: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • 2015: Chris Pratt
  • 2014: Neil Patrick Harris
  • 2013: Kiefer Sutherland
  • 2012: Jason Segel 

When was the first Hasty Pudding Man of the Year awarded?

Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which dates to 1844 and calls itself the third-oldest theater group in the world, has handed out a Man of the Year Award since 1967.

The awards are given out to people who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.

More on 2023 honoree Bob Odenkirk

Odenkirk reprised the role of Saul Goodman, aka Jimmy McGill, in “Better Call Saul,” which earned him three Critics Choice TV awards and multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award nominations.

He is also the star and executive producer of “Lucky Hank,” adapted from the novel “Straight Man” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo, which is scheduled to premiere on AMC and AMC+ on March 19.

‘Better Call Saul’ was a love story all along: How the finale cements its greatness (Spoilers!)

Some of his other acting credits include “Nobody,” “Mr. Show with Bob and David” and “Girlfriend’s Day.”

He received two Emmy Awards for his comedic writing for “Saturday Night Live” in 1989 and for “The Ben Stiller Show” in 1993.

In 2013 Odenkirk co-wrote The New York Times bestseller “Hollywood Said No!,” a collection of unproduced screenplays, and his third book released in March 2022, a memoir entitled “Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama,” went to No. 2 on The New York Times bestseller list.

‘The ending is awesome’:Bob Odenkirk talks new book, saying goodbye to Saul Goodman

Is there a Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award?

Yes. But the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Woman of the Year Award, which dates to 1951, has not yet been announced for 2023. 

 “Alias” star Jennifer Garner was honored with the award last February, complete with a parade in historic Harvard Square. “This is crazy. This is nuts,” Garner said at the time. 

Hasty Pudding organizers said they chose Garner based not just on her career as an actor but also because of her record as a philanthropist and entrepreneur.

More:Jennifer Garner celebrated as Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year

Who else has received the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award? 

The Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year 2021 recipient was Viola Davis, and previous winners include Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Ethel Merman and Cher.

CBS News

Bob Odenkirk being honored with Hasty Pudding Man of the Year award at Harvard

CAMBRIDGE – “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk will be honored with the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year award at Harvard University next month.

The 60-year-old entertainer was selected for the annual fete in Cambridge because he has made an “indelible mark on the world as an actor, comedian, and filmmaker,” the Hasty Pudding Theatricals organization said in a statement. Odenkirk is also known for his work on “Breaking Bad” and “Mr. Show,” and won an Emmy for his writing on “Saturday Night Live.”

“When choosing our 2023 Man of the Year, I immediately knew we better call Bob Odenkirk,” producer Aidan Golub said. “We’re cooking up a lot of surprises to celebrate Mr. Odenkirk’s contributions to the world of comedy both in front of and behind the camera.”

The Hasty Pudding production put on by the third oldest theater organization in the world will include a celebratory roast in burlesque fashion. It will take place on February 2 at Farkas Hall in Harvard Square.

Previous recipients of the Man of the Year award include Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Samuel L. Jackson, Harrison Ford and last year’s honoree Jason Bateman. 


A brand new arts nonprofit will take over the old OBERON stage

The tall front doors of 2 Arrow St. in Cambridge have been shuttered for almost three years. With little fanfare, David Altshuler unlocks the entrance and ushers me inside.

“Well, welcome to our space,” he says.

The foyer has been stripped bare. A ladder leans against one wall, and some of the wiring is showing. Gone is the narrow hallway that once led to the nightclub in the building’s belly. Now light filters through big windows.

In its most recent incarnation, this space was OBERON, the American Repertory Theater’s beloved second stage on the edge of Harvard Square. For more than a decade, it played host to drag queens and burlesque dancers and, most famously, the Shakespeare-meets-Studio-54 extravaganza known as “The Donkey Show.”

The A.R.T. announced in 2021 that it would not renew its lease at 2 Arrow St. as it prepared to move to a new campus in Allston. Many wondered what would happen to the theater. Would Harvard University, which owns the building, sell it off? Redevelop it? Rent it out to another theater company?

Now, Altshuler and his newly-formed nonprofit, Arrow Street Arts, have big plans for the space.

Altshuler leads us through the foyer into the theater itself, which has been gutted: no more catwalk, no more bar. The floor has been ripped up to reveal smooth concrete.

The plan, helmed by Charles Rose Architects, is to transform the warehouse-like room into a black box theater — a simple, flexible space that can be converted into various staging configurations.

Altshuler shows me a set of plans for the seating. The idea is to have seats that can be hidden away or pulled out from the wall, kind of like the bleachers in a high school gym.

“It’ll be a telescopic seating system so you can actually have it be either, you know, 12 rows deep and 240 seats, or it might just be three or six rows deep,” he says, excitedly. “The audience gets sized to what’s appropriate to that show.”

In addition to the black box, Altshuler is converting an empty storefront next door into a studio that will double as a small venue — 1,100 square feet with a capacity of approximately 100. A row of picture windows at the street level will allow passers-by to see inside.

Altshuler expects to invest $2.5 million, much of it his own, into the renovations. He describes it as kind of a “blank canvas” that producers can set up in every configuration imaginable.

“The space, as envisioned, is going to be this flexible multi-art space where, sure, it could be a nightclub one night, it could also be a dance recital, or it could be a straight play, or it could be a set of performing artists,” he says.

Altshuler is an entrepreneur with a background in tech, finance and nonprofit leadership. (Not to be confused with the other Boston-based David Altshuler, a pharmaceutical executive.) But this project is driven in part by his wife, Sharman Altshuler, the founder of Moonbox Productions. The small theater company has an annual operating budget of approximately $600,000 and won numerous awards. But Altshuler says she struggled to find a consistent place to put on shows.

“For years, I’ve sort of fantasized about the idea of, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have, you know, your own space.’ And it was always like, ‘forget it,’” Altshuler says. “Financially, it just doesn’t make sense to have a physical plant as a small theater organization.”

Then she heard that Oberon was closing. She recalls having a conversation about it with her husband.

Arrow Street Arts in Cambridge will include a small performance space at 2 Arrow St. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Arrow Street Arts in Cambridge will include a small performance space at 2 Arrow St. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

“And I said, ‘It’s such a great local theater, and wouldn’t it be cool if they actually end up staying a theater, and maybe Moonbox could do something,’” she says.

Her husband took the lead on the competitive process of selling the idea to Harvard. He pitched a plan with Moonbox as a resident theater company, using the space about a third of the time. The Cambridge Community Foundation is also a partner on the project.

Harvard declined a request for an interview, but said in a statement, “Harvard ultimately chose Moonbox because we were confident they could be a long-term partner, because of their team’s track record and financial, operational and creative capacity to succeed in such a project, and because of their goals for activation, community involvement and a diversity of projects.”

The Cambridge Community Foundation is charged with helping Arrow Street Arts find other local presenters to use the space.

“The idea is that we will reach out deeply into the community,” says Cambridge Community Foundation president Geeta Pradhan. “We will bring community groups in, have conversations with them as people, you know, make sure that they know about this opportunity.”

Arrow Street Arts hopes to subsidize an affordable rental model with private events. The Cambridge Community Foundation will also administer a fund, bankrolled by Arrow Street Arts. The fund will offer grants to groups that want to use the space but can’t afford to, “so that smaller groups, particularly BIPOC organizations and theater groups, can actually, we can subsidize the cost of their ability to be able to produce here,” Pradhan says.

Arrow Street Arts will also help raise money for the foundation’s Cultural Capital Fund, which supports creative work throughout the city.

The foundation got involved because it wanted to help address a huge problem for the arts in Cambridge: the loss of space. Pradhan points to studies from the city of Boston and the Mayor’s Arts Task Force in Cambridge that showed a dire need for rehearsal space and mid-size performance venues in the Boston area.

“Improv Boston, they lost their space. Green Street Studios lost their space. EMF building redevelopment resulted in a loss of space for musicians,” Pradhan says.

Arrow Street Arts will fill the void left by another big loss, the closure of Oberon — though Altshuler’s black box is different from its nightclub-like predecessor. It’s hard to predict if Oberon’s burlesque and circus performers will want to use the new space.

But some local producers are excited by the new design.

“The difficulty with Oberon was wing space, dressing room space. It was not an easy facility, production-wise,” says Sehnaz Dirik, the founder of Theater UnCorked, a small community theater. “The updating of the green room, the dressing rooms, all of that stuff for an actor is really important.”

Accommodating performers is a big part of the theater’s design. But Altshuler also wants to make the space super accessible. His plans include wider seats, more legroom and a perfectly smooth floor for wheelchair use. One of the most expensive renovations involves building all-gender restrooms with individual enclosed stalls.

“When an audience member or an artist comes here, do they feel welcome,” Altshuler says of the design philosophy. “Do they feel like they belong in the space?”

There’s a lot of work to do before that question can be answered. Altshuler has to hire a staff and finish the renovations. If all goes as planned, Arrow Street Arts will open fully at the end of the year.

CBS News

Prince and Princess of Wales finish 3-day Boston trip with Earthshot awards

Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales visited the United States for the first time in eight years with a three-day trip to Boston.

The royal couple focused their attention on their Earthshot Prize for environmental innovators Friday night. Prince William said he was inspired by JFK’s “Moonshot” speech to create a decade of action and collaboration to combat climate change. 


Kate Middleton Takes Harvard! Princess of Wales Steps Out for Solo Outing in the U.S.


  • Charles, Prince of Wales
  • Catherine, Princess of Wales
  • William, Prince of Wales



Kate Middleton Takes Harvard! Princess of Wales Steps Out for Solo Outing in the U.S.

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Kate Middleton Takes Harvard! Princess of Wales Steps Out for Solo Outing in the U.S.

Kate Middleton is learning new things at Harvard!

The Princess of Wales made a solo outing on Friday morning as part of her three-day visit to the United States alongside her husband Prince William. The royal visited Harvard University outside Boston, heading to the prestigious school’s Center on the Developing Child.

Kate, 40, spoke with researchers about the advances in science that can be harnessed to achieve a promising future for every child. During her conversation with the experts, she was diligently taking notes.

During the outing, Kate echoed her father-in-law King Charles‘ own visit to Harvard University in 1986 when she signed the guest book — 36 years after the future King signed his name.