CBS EXEC JOINS THE SHOW AT BASIE

vinniefavalefrankiekeane Vinnie Favale, pictured at left with HEREAFTER writing partner Frankie Keane,  joins a volunteer entity that includes local politicians, business leaders, eminent professionals and at least one familiar face from the big screen.

By TOM CHESEK

David Letterman knows him as one of the network suits — vice president of late night programming (East Coast) for CBS — and as an occasional presence on the Late Show itself. Howard Stern knows him as “Vinnie from CBS,” the commuter whose frequent call-ins from his morning bus trip made him famous for his figure and his weight. Local audiences might even know him as the writer and lyricist of an original musical about life after death.

To the staff of the Count Basie Theatre, Vinnie Favale is family, as the theater named the Lincroft resident to its board of trustees last week.

late-show-craig-ferguson2Craig Ferguson, star of CBS’s LATE LATE SHOW, comes to the Count Basie Theatre in July — while CBS late night exec Vinnie Favale takes his seat on the Basie Board of Trustees this month.

A self-described “ridiculous fan of musicals,” the Brooklyn-bred Favale put his passion to the test with Hereafter: A Musical Drama — an original work (created with his friend, actress and singer Frankie Keane) that previewed last November on the stage of the Panther Hall Auditorium of the Ranney School in Tinton Falls. Inspired by the tragic death of a Middletown High School South student in 2003, and fueled by the feelings that the authors shared over the passings of parents and siblings, the collaborators have prepared a new draft of the script (in which four spirits and the living people they’ve left behind are “stuck at a crossroads, desperate to make contact with their loved ones one last time”) for workshopping in 2010.

“The songs work very well outside of the show in a concert setting,” Favale told our satellite site Red Bank oRBit last year. “We will be doing many showcases like the one at Ranney School so that we can bring this beautiful music to as many people as possible.”

The former VP of program planning at Comedy Central joins an all-volunteer governing body that includes state Senator Joe Kyrillos, Rumson mayor John Ekdahl, and character actress Siobhan Fallon-Hogan, currently onscreen with Gerard and Jen in Bounty Hunter.

The coming summer months will see what Favale might consider some familiar faces standing in the spotlight on the Basie stage, as Letterman band bassman Will Lee and The Fab Faux play their annual fundraiser concert on June 26.

Then on the evening of July 8, Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson takes his summer standup comedy tour to the Red Bank stage for the first time. Tickets ($35-$500) for the Faux show are available here, while admission ($25 – $95) to the gifted Glaswegian’s set is reservable here.