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In Memoriam: James G. Mennen

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of James "Jim" Mennen. Jim was a longtime manager on many Broadway productions. Jim came into membership in January 1973 and this past January was inducted into ATPAM's Diamond Club. In our recent correspondence he told me that he was very excited to receive his "diamond" paperweight from the Union.

Jim was the Company Manager of CATS for 16 years. Those of us who worked on CATS, remember Jim with great fondness. He was an avid traveler, and I was fortunate to have been brought into New York, while working on the CATS Tour, to cover for Jim from time to time and learn the ins and outs of working on Broadway. Jim would regale all of us in the office with his photos and travel adventures.

Jim's husband, Joe Palumbo has provided an obituary below.

May Jim's memory be a blessing.

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James Gordon Mennen of New York City and Scranton died on May 3, 2023, at the age of 78. He is survived by his spouse, Joseph A. Palumbo of Scranton.

Raised in LeMars IA, he was the son of the late Gordon L. and Teresa (Harms) Mennen.

In the early 1900s, his maternal grandfather, Henry J. Harms, established banks in, Brunsville, Merrill, and LeMars IA, where Jim’s father served as President and CEO.


Jim was educated in the LeMars public schools and received his degree from the School of Communication at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

While at Northwestern, Jim studied under renowned drama coach Alvina Krause, and became part of Ms Krause’s summer theater program at Eagles Mere, PA, joining the ranks of previous Northwestern participants such as Charleton Heston, Jennifer Jones, and Cloris Leachman. He spent his junior year abroad at Universita per Stranieri di Perugia.


After graduation, Jim moved to California, and worked with playwrights including William Inge, and Tennessee Williams on production development of their various works.

Jim became very interested in the business end of theater and spent the remainder of his career as company manager on a variety of Broadway productions including “The Gin Game” with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, “Hello Dolly” with Carol Channing, “The King and I” with Yul Brynner, and “Sweeney Todd” with Angela Lansbury. His final project was serving as company manager of “CATs” for 16 years. He did take a break from Broadway in the early 1970s to serve as production manager of the now cult-classic film “Greaser’s Palace” directed by Robert Downy, Sr., starring Allan Arbus.


He retired in 1998, to pursue his other passion which was to travel the world visiting exotic and far-flung locales.


His many community involvements in Manhattan included Broadway Cares, the Midtown Arts Council, and the Board of Trustees of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.


In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his youngest sibling Christopher Mennen.

Along with his spouse, he is survived by his brother Gary Mennen and wife Lynette Kelsey Mennen, Diane Maresh and husband Dr. John Maresh, and Mary Sue Moore and husband Dr. Stephen Moore, as well as many nieces and nephews.


Funeral services will be private with a celebration of life to be held at a later date.

To honor Jim, contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.



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