help_outline Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List

Member Bio

Anita Kallen 

Chicago, IL

Contact Information

Chicago, IL
1870 N. Larrabee St.
Chicago, IL 60614

Personal Information

Additional Information

Singer - Choral
Singer - General/Cabaret
Singer - Musical Theater
Singer - Sacred Song, Religious, Cantor
Voice Over
Audience reviews for The Cy Coleman Story:
"Congratulations on a marvelous show! It was smart, well crafted, well-paced, beautifully sung and wonderfully delivered. Thank you for sharing Cy Coleman's story - my understanding of his music is so much richer."

"It's a honey of a show!"

"It was a great tribute show. It has legs!"

"You are so engaging and such a great storyteller. It was a beautiful performance!"

What Audience Members Have Said About Our Trailblazers Show:

“ Truly a 5-star show!”

“Fantastic show!! I loved learning about strong women and their journeys. Thank you for the music and laughs!”

“You get two women with TOP NOTCH performing skills and songs that will bring a laugh to your throat and a tear to your eye.”

"Your show was fantastic!!!! Intelligent and funny with gorgeous music and voices!"

“It made me proud to be a woman!”

Audience reviews from HERstory: The 19th Amendment and the Power of the Vote:
"A wonderful performance by smart, strong women with beautiful voices, music, humor and a fantastic historical journey shared."

"This show is touching and important. Thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking."

"This was a wonderful show! Thoughtful, clever, funny, beautifully sung!"

"Beautiful arrangements, fabulous harmonies all beautifully interwoven with fascinating stories of the Women's Suffrage movement. An amazing journey told and sung by amazing women!"

Cabaret Scenes magazine, September/October 2013: “In That’s So Cliché (But Music to My Ears) and her first solo cabaret, Anita Kallen explores the cliché through a lively assortment of songs, some of which include snappy lyrics penned by Kallen herself. Cliché has the ingredients of fine cabaret, intelligence, wit, and a visit to the performer’s heart….[Kallen] is rock solid vocally and confident interpretively which enables her to tell a heck of a story….. Closing the show with “A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening.” reflected what all were feeling -- today’s confident shimmery Kallen has become a real entertainer.”

From "Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood" :
"The grand Anita Kallen....engages the audience with her delightful style of storytelling."
-- Chicago TheatreBeat
Video clips from HERstory: Trailblazing Female Firsts:

A sample song from "HERstory: The 19th Amendment Turns 100!" --

Video clips from our "HERstory" debut: video clips from the show’s debut:

Video clips from my first solo show, That’s So Cliché (But Music to My Ears):

Video clips from my second solo show, When You Least Expect It! A Musical Journey through Life’s Curve Balls and Surprises:

“Half and Half Holiday” from When You Least Expect It

Video Clips from The Cy Coleman Story:

From our first duo show, Dangerous Women:


Anita Kallen performs in both cabaret and musical theater and serves as a cantor/choir member at St. Vincent DePaul Church in Chicago. In the summer of 2010, she was one of 38 students from around the world selected to attend the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University and work with Broadway veterans like Faith Prince, Sally Mayes, and Tovah Feldshuh, as well as cabaret legend Julie Wilson. In 2011, Anita and Yale colleague Catherine Thomson debuted a successful two-woman show at Davenport’s Cabaret in Chicago called Dangerous Women, a comic exploration of the many ways in which women can be dangerous. In the years since then, Anita has produced and performed in several successful solo and two-woman shows (with Catherine Thomson), and sung in several group shows around the city.


Anita debuted her new (and third) solo show, The Cy Coleman Story: You Know His Music - if Not His Name, at Davenport's Cabaret in November 2021. If you've ever hummed along or tapped a foot to such memorable tunes as Witchcraft, Big Spender or I’ve Got Your Number, then you're already acquainted with a Cy Coleman melody, but perhaps not with the man himself. With Music Director Beckie Menzie, Anita salutes the "unsung" musical genius of this Broadway and Billboard hit-maker. Look for an encore performance of The Cy Coleman Story in 2023.


Anita and Catherine debuted their new two-woman show, HERstory: Trailblazing Female Firsts, at Davenport's in March, 2022 and reprised it at Skokie Theatre in July 2022. It's a musical salute to the gutsy gals who boldly defied society’s conventions - going where no woman had gone before - and achieved groundbreaking female “Firsts.” Award-winning pianist and Music Director Beckie Menzie was at the piano playing songs by Harold Arlen, Stephen Schwartz, Dolly Parton, Tom Lehrer, Kander & Ebb, and Sara Bareilles, among others. Anita and Catherine now tour with the show, performing it at senior residences, community centers, civic organizations, religious institutions, downtown corporations and public libraries. Contact them at if you’re interested in an hour of great stories and songs!


Anita and Catherine's last project, HERstory: The 19th Amendment and the Power of the Vote! is still inspiring audiences. At the premiere at Davenport's in June 2019, a sold-out crowd joined them to celebrate in song and "HERstory" the rabble-rousing pioneers who won the right to vote for the women of America. The show was booked throughout 2020 at various venues and private organizations, and when the pandemic made those in-person engagements impossible, Anita and Catherine filmed a virtual performance in order to stream the show via Zoom to those unable to see it "live." Since then, they’ve returned to live performances and in recent months have brought their celebration of voting rights to audiences down in Munster, IN, up in Lake Forest, IL, out to Wheeling, IL and points in between!


Hard to believe it was ten years ago that Anita’s first solo show at Davenport’s, That’s So Cliché! (But Music to My Ears), played to full houses, with Cabaret Scenes magazine noting the show, “has the ingredients of fine cabaret, intelligence, wit, and a visit to the performer’s heart.” Anita returned to Davenport's the next year for a sold-out encore performance. In 2015 Anita launched her second solo show, WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT! A Musical Journey through Life’s Curve Balls and Surprises. She reprised it in 2019 at Davenport's. Between 2017 and 2018 Anita and colleagues, Duncan Moore, Catherine Thomson and Jason Martin, with the help of music director Mark Burnell, celebrated the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with a tribute show called, Bernstein at 100. The show had several performances in the Chicago area including at Skokie Theatre and CPL/Harold Washington Library's Cindy Pritzker Auditorium.


Anita has also been active in theater with leading roles that have included Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Fiona in Brigadoon, Laurey Williams in Oklahoma, Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly, Joanne in Godspell, Marian Paroo in The Music Man, Mrs. George Bernard Shaw in the 2014 Midwest Premiere of Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood at Chicago’s Greenhouse Theater, and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, produced out in the western suburbs. In 2019 she understudied the female lead and supporting roles in Elizabeth Doyle's new musical Burnham's Dream at Theatre Wit in Chicago.


As a member of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals (CCP), Anita has also sung in several CCP "Merry Measures" holiday shows and musical revues, including CCP’s annual Gala at the Park West in Chicago and CCP's first Musical Mondays show of 2018,"Comedy Musicale" with an all-star cast of CCP favorites.