The Smell of the Greasepaint the Roar of the Crowd

If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.
Unknown author

Expressions, Idioms, and Sayings
from the Fields of 
Theater, Dance, &


theatre, dance, opera

1. What does it mean when we say that someone is a ham?
A That they are a  swine
B That they eat like a pig
C That they overact or behave in a overly theatrical way
D  They are snobby

2. Which of the following means that more than one person is at fault?
A It ain't over till the fat lady sings
B She or he's got two left feet
C  It takes two to tango
D Side by side

3. Which of the following means that you should not make a decision too early or
before all the acts are presented?
A It ain't over till the fat lady sings
B run that by me again
C It takes two to tango.
D hold the fort

                (Fill in the blanks)

4. It is amazing, Bill Clinton has   _____________ his way out of the situation, again.
A rapped
B yodeled
C tapped danced
D shlepped

5.  Before you perform Shakespeare's Macbeth, I'd just like to say that I hope that you
A experience wine and roses
B break a leg
C go swiming
D hear the fat lady sing

6. Suzanne is always _____________  Robert, he has got to be more assertive and dynamic.
A upstaging
B  nipping and tucking
C downsizing
D tickling

7.  I know that you'd like Ben to be less clumsy, but you have to understand that he was
born ________________.
A on the catwalk
B to run wild
C in mind and body
D with two left feet

8. Which of the following means repeat what you just said:
A Say what?
B Run that by me again.
C Could you reiterate that?
D Excuse me?
E all of the above

                (Fill in the blanks)

9. Go up and take __________ ; your presentation was fabulous.
A names
B a curtain call.
C off
D a hike

10. I really like being __________; I find all the attention flattering.
A in the limelight
B informed
C in tatters
D in the spotlight

 See the answer key?

Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching.
Marc Twain

Some other suggestions:
 Theater exercises 
other looks at  phrases and sayings
Yin and yang and business phrases   Son of Funny Business  Early American English

Ce texte et images © 1999 Christopher Yukna - tous droits réservés

Professor of English
Ecole des Mines
75 cours fauriel