Meet the cast of Grease! Karla Tonkich as Marty

GFO’s revival production of Grease begins previews tomorrow at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre and we at AussieTheatre wanted to get to know the cast before the show commences its run!

Today we chat with newcomer Karla Tonkich who will be starring as Rydell High School’s resident bombshell, Marty. A recent WAAPA graduate (2012), Karla appeared in the Melbourne season of Legally Blonde and prior to her studies made her professional debut in High School Musical at just 17 years of age…

Karla Tonkich
Karla Tonkich

What do you think it is about Grease that people love so much?

I think that every teenager can relate to the characters in Grease as the issues that are presented are relevant even today. Teenagers would see themselves in certain characters as I see parts of myself in Marty. Not to mention the amazing songs 😉

Describe your character – Marty

Marty is a blonde bombshell who acts classier than what she is. She loves attention for men and plays up to it to get what she wants. She's very confident, flirty and idolises Marilyn Monroe.

What’s your favourite song in the show?

I love the Sandradee reprise. It's Sandy's decision to change who she is to fit in and that's where her transformation begins.

When you were at high school were you cool enough to be a Pink Lady?

Yes I would've been a Pink Lady…Marty to be exact hahaha

What’s the most challenging thing about the show?

To show vulnerability and a youthfulness as well as sex appeal all in one character has been the challenge for me.

What’s the best thing about the performing arts community in Australia?

We have a lot of support without our industry including Equity.

If you could give one piece of advice to up and coming performers, what would it be?

Never give up on your dream! Work hard and stay committed. Keep perfecting your art, as you can never learn too much in the industry.

Most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you onstage?

Hahaha! when I was 12 I was performing a song and dance solo and my breasts popped out from under my crop top and I had no idea so I continued to do the routine. I came off realized and balled my eyes out.

If you weren’t treading the boards in Grease, what would you be doing?

I’d be working professionally as a singer/dancer in corporate events and cabarets. Also working on my acting.

What are some of your dream roles?

I would love to end up on Broadway as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, or in In The Heights. My dream role in a movie or musical is to play Marilyn Monroe. I am so intrigued by her life I think she is amazing and to play her would be an honour.

Grease will be playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 20 August. Visit for more details!


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James