The cast of "Chicago," including Gere, Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones, injected their rehearsal with silliness. Latifah purposely over-enunciated her lines, and when a pair of rehearsal actors claimed an Oscar onstage and gave an acceptance speech, Zeta-Jones started to play them off with an imaginary violin.
"Get outta here!" Gere said with a smile.
Octavia Spencer, who won the supporting actress Oscar last year for her performance in "The Help," also had a little fun.
"I'm going to do a soft-shoe," she said, shuffling off stage.
Streep and Jane Fonda were each wowed by the set design. Fonda snapped a photo of it with her iPhone, and Streep marveled at how far the walk to the microphone was.
"All the way to here?!" she asked. "Oh my God."
Halle Berry literally stumbled during her first rehearsal, her pointy heel catching on part of the stage. She insisted on trying again.
"Woo hoo," she said. "Made it."
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APSandy .
Jane Fonda even took a picture of the stage with her iPhone.
The Academy Awards will be presented Sunday and broadcast live on ABC.