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All her life Deidre Lang wanted to entertain and make people happy.

“When I was 10 years old, I used to watch a lot of old movies. I used to have my mother wake me up in the middle of the night to watch those movies with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers and all those types of movies,” recalled Lang. “I wanted to watch those movies, I was fascinated with them and I wanted to learn how to dance and I asked my mother to put me in dance. I could always sing, but it was always something about Broadway and those Hollywood movies that excited me.”

And as Ms. Steinkopf, one of the teachers in a prestigious prep school in “School of Rock — The Musical,” which is based on the 2003 hit movie of the same name that starred then-up-and-coming actor Jack Black, she’s able to do just that.

The musical, which is playing at the Benedum Center October 17-22, features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical follows Dewey, an out of work rock guitarist who pretends to be a substitute teacher at the school. After identifying the musical talent of his students Dewey forms a band of fifth graders in an attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands contest.


“This character is feisty, sassy and educated; most of the teachers there are educated and uppity. She is funny and she gives Rosalie the side eye because she doesn’t trust Rosalie’s judgement. Rosalie hires Dewey Finn as a substitute teacher and she doesn’t understand why Rosalie would hire him. She has a hard exterior but she has a heart,” said Lang, who based her portrayal of Ms. Steinkopf on some of the teachers she had in high school growing up in New Jersey.

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