Actor Sharayah Javaherdost makes her Jubilations dreams come true with starring role in musical spoof Mama Mio

When she was just a young girl, she would attend Jubilations Dinner Theatre with her parents and afterwards would tell them that’s what she wanted to do when she grew up. 

Fast forward to now and you’ll find a grown-up Sharayah Javaherdost starring in her very first Jubilations Dinner theatre production and she couldn’t be more thrilled. 

“Oh my gosh, didn’t know what to expect when I signed on,” she explains. 

“I knew it was going to be intense, but I didn’t expect to have so much fun every single night. I feel like I’m starting to get more comfortable doing it, but there is still a new sense of excitement every night.”

As a rising star from Crossfield, AB, Javaherdost knew she was destined for the stage before she even learned to speak. 

“I used to come and watch the shows when I was a lot younger and I told my parents I wanted to work at Jubilations because of the singing and dancing, but also because you get to meet so many people.” 

And here she is, starring as Amanda in Mama Mio: Here We Go Again, written and directed by Bob Cunningham. The spoof features everyone’s favourite ABBA songs and many other disco classics as a Jubilations twist on the classic mother-daughter musical.  

For Javaherdost, the production is a chance to perform to a new audience each night.  

“It’s awesome because every night is a whole new crowd. It’s kind of funny doing a long run because you think you’ll get bored, but it’s a new adventure each night. You never know what they will laugh and cheer at, so it’s always fun.”

And a lot different type of audience than her last — Javaherdost spent two years performing in the Canadian Badlands Passion Play in Drumheller at an outdoor amphitheatre. 

“It’s a totally different experience than being in a giant amphitheatre that holds thousands of people, but I like being closer to people and interacting with them better. You get to see them enjoying the show and singing ABBA,” she says. 

If she was nervous for her first show, she didn’t show it, says co-star Kelly Benzing, who stars as Amanda’s mother, Meryl, in the production. 

“You can normally tell who the new person is on stage, but she came in with so much confidence and belief in herself,” Benzing explains. “She’s such a little trooper and I think she is fantastic. I see a big future for her.” 

And Benzing would know. In fact, it’s her 13th year with Jubilations and she has a dozen productions under her belt with the theatre. 

“It’s the most fun I’ve had and it’s not really a job to go up on stage and pretend to be somebody else. It’s my favourite place to be.” 

Benzing says she feels like she belongs on the Jubilations stage.  

“I have never felt excluded from this company; it’s such a family-based place and they accept you no matter what,” she says, adding she loves the people. “It’s just a lot of fun.”

Mamma Mio: Here We Go Again runs until July 27 at Jubilations Dinner Theatre. Tickets and info at

Krista Sylvester is a freelance writer (and creator of that’s all she wrote) with a journalism background. She has worked for Metro, CityTV and the now defunct FFWD, and specializes in arts and culture, sports, film and entertainment, social issues and more. When she’s not writing, she can often be found at the poker table or ice rink playing hockey.