steal the show

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steal the show

To become the main focus of attention or deliver the most captivating performance in the presence of one or more others, typically unexpectedly. The opening band totally stole the show tonight—they were amazing. I'm sorry, I was trying to listen to your speech, but your adorable little sister stole the show when she came prancing out here.
See also: show, steal

steal the show

Also, steal the spotlight. Be the center of attention, as in The speeches were interesting but Eliza's singing stole the show. This idiom alludes to unexpectedly outshining the rest of the cast in a theatrical production. [First half of 1900s]
See also: show, steal

steal the show

COMMON If someone or something in a show or other event steals the show, they are more impressive or amusing than anyone or anything else and, as a result, get more attention or praise. All three singers gave impressive performances but it was Domingo who stole the show. It's Jack Lemmon who finally steals the show, turning in his finest performance in years. Note: You can describe someone or something that gets more attention than other people or things as a show-stealer. The show-stealer at Citywalk, however, isn't some Hollywood megastar, but a giant gorilla that hangs like King Kong from the front of the store.
See also: show, steal

steal the show

attract the most attention and praise.
See also: show, steal

steal the ˈshow

attract more attention and praise than other people in a particular situation: Actors don’t like working with animals because they often steal the show.
See also: show, steal
References in periodicals archive ?
Out actor David Greenspan steals the show in this revival of an undersung Tennessee Williams work
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When really annoying 'tween Bailey (Jenna Boyd, who steals the show from the formidable older actresses) attaches herself to Tibby's project, things couldn't possibly get any worse.
Especially wonderful are Patricia Conolly as overgrown ingenue Maudie Melrose; Rosemary Murphy as Cora Clarke, who loves nothing more than playing solitaire and dispensing barbed bon mots; and Helen Stenborg, who practically steals the show as dotty firebug Sarita Myrtle.
His wordless performance of grunts and body language steals the show from co-star Colin Clive as Dr.
In a nutshell: Heigh ho, heigh ho, the Mirror steals the show.