play to the gallery

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Related to plays to the gallery: play fast and loose

play to the gallery

To act, behave, or perform in such a way as to receive as much approval from an audience or spectators as one can get, especially the lowest common denominator among them. I wish the band played more of their new material and didn't just play to the gallery with their greatest hits the whole night. Rather than acting in a way that best suits the role and the play as a whole, he prefers to play to the gallery and soak up the spotlight when he can. She's a great basketball player, but she spends more time playing to the gallery than playing to win the game.
See also: gallery, play

play to the gallery

 and 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.
See also: gallery, play

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.
See also: gallery, play

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]
See also: gallery, play