play to

(redirected from playing to)

play to

1. To perform (something) in front of a specific audience. It was disheartening playing to only a handful of people, but we still got up on the stage and did our best. I still can't believe we played to a sold-out stadium on our very first live performance! I bring my guitar around to the local retirement community every Saturday and play to the old folks there for a couple hours.
2. To perform (something) with a specific audience or portion of the audience in mind. The actor became more and more exaggerated in his slapstick, clearly playing to the younger people in the audience who were responding more to the physical comedy. The singer-songwriter seemed to purposefully eschew the songs that propelled her to mainstream success, instead playing to those who appreciated her earlier, most experimental music.
See also: play, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play to someone or something

 
1. to perform something for someone or a group. The cast played to one of their classmates who was confined to the hospital. Gerald Watson will play to a small gathering of wealthy socialites this Saturday evening.
2. to aim one's performance only toward a particular person, group, or a particular taste. The comedian was playing only to the juveniles in the audience. It was clear that she was playing to the people in the cheaper seats.
See also: play, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
His playing is just so unique that you kind of have to tailor your playing to his playing.
Parker writes, but the star-studded production of The Alchemist in Sydney, playing to well-heeled Australian audiences who apparently identified with Lovewit as the aggrieved property owner of a vandalized house (193), militates against the postcolonialist reading Schafer wants to impose on the material.
A key factor is that the musical tempo never wavers from the playing to the hearing/singing to the playing back to the hearing/singing stages.
The ball-control team can put in some damage control by working harder at playing to its strengths and controlling the game tempo.
* Voice to one side of an octave or one note in a chord, releasing nonfavored notes immediately after playing to relieve hand stretches.