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The people seated in the highest seats in the theater. I'm so nervous to take the stage tonight—I hope I don't get heckled by the gallery gods! Oh boy, we're going to be gallery gods in these terrible seats!
play to the galleryand play to the crowd
to perform in a manner that will get the strong approval of the audience; to perform in a manner that will get the approval of the lower elements in the audience. John is a competent actor, but he has a tendency to play to the crowd. When he made the rude remark, he was just playing to the gallery.
play to the gallery
to spend time doing or saying things that will make people admire or support you, instead of dealing with more important matters Politicians these days are more interested in playing to the gallery than exercising real influence on world events.
play to the gallery
Appeal to spectators for maximum approval, as in He peppers his speeches with humor and wisecracks about his opponent, clearly playing to the gallery . In this term gallery refers to the cheapest seats in a British theater and hence the least sophisticated audience. [Late 1800s]
A police collection of pictures of criminals and suspects kept for identification purposes. For example, The detective went through the entire rogues' gallery but couldn't find a match with the suspect . [Mid-1800s]
See also: gallery
A rowdy audience. The original peanut galleries were the cheapest, which is to say, the highest, seats in a theater or vaudeville house. Their patrons heckled and often threw peanuts (the least expensive items sold at the snack bar) at performers who didn't measure up to the audience's expectations. The most popular children's television show of the mid-20th century was Howdy Doody (Howdy, Mr. Bluster, Flub-A-Dub and other marionettes interacted with their human friends led by Buffalo Bob Smith and Clarabelle the Clown). The studio audience were children who sat in the Peanut Gallery and were encouraged to laugh, cheer, or boo at the show's riotous happenings.
Collection of “head shot” photographs. A rogues gallery is a compilation of “mug shot” photos of actual and suspected criminals maintained by police departments for purposes of identification. The practice began in the mid-19th century with the development of photography. By extension, any collection of head-and-shoulder photos, such as college fraternity composites and academic yearbooks, is jokingly referred to as rogues galleries.