×

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.”

More Legit

  • Frozen review Broadway

    Broadway Musicians Earn Largest Wage Increase in Two Decades

    Broadway musicians have succeeded in earning their largest wage increase in over two decades. Announced on Wednesday, the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM said in a statement that after over four months of deliberations, they have secured a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Broadway League and Coordinated Bargaining Partners to [...]

  • The Kilroys The List

    Listen: New List, New Leaders as the Kilroys Push for Parity

    The collective of writers and producers known as the Kilroys has been pushing for gender parity in the theater for five years now. With the launch last week of the latest edition of the List — the group’s annual round-up (inspired by Hollywood’s Black List) of plays by women, trans and non-binary writers — members [...]

  • Annette Bening

    Star-Studded Cast to Perform Live Reading of the Mueller Report

    Haven’t perused the Mueller report yet? A star-studded cast, including Annette Bening, Kevin Kline, and John Lithgow, can read it to you. For one night only on Monday, June 24, stars will perform a live reading of passages from the Mueller report for “The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts,” Robert Schenkkan’s [...]

  • Paula Vogel Never Expected 'Indecent' to

    Paula Vogel Never Expected 'Indecent' to Be This Timely

    When Paula Vogel began writing “Indecent” in 2010, she had no idea how resonant its exploration of immigration woes, anti-Semitism and homophobia in the past century would become in the current political climate. The Tony-nominated play, running until July 7 at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theater, traces the theatrical history of 1907 Yiddish play “God of Vengeance” [...]

  • Bitter Wheat review

    West End Review: John Malkovich in David Mamet's 'Bitter Wheat'

    How soon is too soon? Hardly a year had passed since allegations against Harvey Weinstein were made public before David Mamet announced that his satire on the subject, “Bitter Wheat,” was set to star John Malkovich in the West End. Six months later, we’re sat watching a corpulent, super-rich movie mogul — Barney Fein (cough, [...]

  • Batman Julia Roberts Spike Lee

    Batman, Julia Roberts, Spike Lee Among 2020 Walk of Fame Honorees

    Batman, Julia Roberts and Spike Lee are among the names selected to be inducted into the 2020 Walk of Fame. The full list of honorees was announced by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame Selection Committee via an exclusive livestream by Variety. Chosen from hundreds of nominees during a selection meeting in June, [...]

  • Tracy Letts

    Tracy Letts' Comedy 'The Minutes' to Hit Broadway in 2020

    Playwright Tracy Letts’ comedy “The Minutes” will hit the Broadway stage in Feb. 2020. “The Minutes,” written by actor, producer and playwright Letts, is a comedy taking a look at the current state of American politics through the lens of a small, fictional town called Big Cherry. The play is set in a city council [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content