curtain raiser(redirected from a curtain-raiser)
1. A short play or skit that precedes the main performance. I have always wanted to be a stage actor, but I've only been cast in a few tiny curtain raisers so far, playing to mostly empty theaters.
2. By extension, any event or performance that precedes the main attraction. Some local singer performed a few songs as a curtain raiser, but no one really paid him much attention until he finally announced the band was about to come on stage. The curtain-raiser match between the two university teams proved far more exciting than the professional football match that everyone had paid to see.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Preliminary event, as in This limited attack on the chairman is just a curtain raiser for the concerted effort to oust him . This term literally refers to a short play or skit presented before the main theatrical production. It began to be transferred to other preliminaries about 1940.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.