Rosie Perez is stepping up to help NYC schoolchildren keep their arts and music programs — and she’s doing it in a prom dress and matching pumps.
Inspired by the adult proms of the Midwest, Perez and fellow celebs like Jesse Eisenberg, the rapper Dres, Justin Bartha, Saffron Burrows, Darryl (DMC) McDaniels, America Ferrera, Ally Sheedy, musician Sway, Alan Cumming and Kat Greenleaf will hold a different kind of party Wednesday. They will be at the Edison Ballroom raising money for the Urban Arts Partnership.
Perez told the Daily News, “We wanted to do something more creative than usual.”
That would be appropriate for this organization, which hooks up creative professionals like the Black Eyed Peas, the 24 Hour Plays actors and the New York Film Academy filmmakers with city kids so they can still learn about art, theater, movies and music, despite severe scissoring of school budgets.
“It’s more fun than the usual rubber-chicken dinner,” noted model-turned-writer Karen (Duff) Duffy.
Perez missed her prom — a rite of passage for high-school seniors (first called a promenade) — while a student at Grover Cleveland High in Ridgewood, Queens.
“I was asked to go, but we couldn’t afford it,” Perez explains. “So we just went to the after-party. This will be my first official prom. I’m excited!”
The question is: You’re grownups. What do you wear?
“I look at my pictures, and it looks like I’m a member of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints,” quips Duffy. “The Prairie Revival look was big then. And the life span for a female wearing a three-tiered prom dress is shorter than that of a Radio Shack 9-volt battery. You can’t charge it up again.”
Comedienne Rachel Dratch also wore the “gunnysack look” to her prom, she told The News. “Now I see girls in their sexy prom outfits and I’m jealous,” she admits. “Is it bad to say I’m jealous of a 16-year-old?”
But designer Nanette Lepore, a favorite of some of the guests who’s agreed to provide gowns for them, actually isn’t going in that direction.
“I don’t like supersexy cocktail dresses for a prom,” Lepore said. “I would pick the most fabulous, long, fluffiest, frothiest, prom-iest dress there is. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Or maybe twice.