Why City National Handles Financing for Half the Shows on Broadway

Seen a Broadway show lately?

If the answer is yes, then there’s a pretty good chance that Stephanie Dalton and her team at City National Bank have played a role in the financial life of the production. That can mean anything from managing the cash that a show takes in at the box office to helping a play or musical raise its initial capitalization from investors.

“We have great relationships with the people in the theater industry,” says Dalton, who serves as senior vice president and team leader for entertainment alongside senior vice president and team leader Erik Piecuch. “We understand what they need and how to deliver. My team doesn’t just put our trusted financial hats on. We really love this business, and we enjoy being part of the audience for these shows.”

City National’s clients read like a who’s who of big productions, including “Burn This,” “The Ferryman,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “The Book of Mormon” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Since joining City National a decade ago, Dalton has built the business to the point where it handles banking for 50% of the shows on Broadway. Additionally, she has helped the company expand beyond the Great White Way. It also works with producers in London’s West End and provides services to shows when they go on tour. Her goal is to get involved with a production as early as possible, often when it’s raising money, and to offer a range of services to suit its needs.

It’s a good time to be in the theater business. Broadway ticket sales hit a record $1.7 billion in 2018, and revenues are expected to eclipse that high-water mark in 2019. Those kinds of financial rewards have resulted in a changing roster of backers and an emphasis on different types of productions and genres. Major studios such as Disney (“Frozen,” “Aladdin”) and Warner Bros. (“Beetlejuice”) have been ramping up their theatrical efforts, and, inspired by the recent success of Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway engagement, more musical acts are looking to set up shop in New York’s Theater District.

“People crave the live experience they get from theater,” says Dalton. “It gives them a connection they can’t get on their iPad or phone.”

Dalton’s team doesn’t just work on Broadway shows. City National is the official bank to the Tony Awards. It’s a long-running sponsorship that shows the bank’s commitment to the theater community. It’s also a gig that that required the banker to take the stage at the cavernous Radio City Music Hall during last year’s telecast.

“You’re looking out an audience of 5,000 people,” says Dalton. “You’re nervous, but you just ride the energy and adrenaline.”

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

  • Bat Out of Hell review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Bat Out of Hell'

    No one has ever accused Jim Steinman of subtlety. The composer behind Meat Loaf’s 1977 “Bat Out of Hell” (more than 43 million albums sold worldwide) and 1993’s “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell” (five and six times platinum in the UK and US) has forever trafficked in a boldly theatrical brand of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content