Conjuring the King Conjures More than Elvis Presley

Conjuring the King, the new immersive theater experience by Miami-based Juggerknot Theater Co. opened this weekend in an undisclosed location. (Spoiler alert: it’s in Miami). In the past, Juggerknot has brought us the Miami Motel Stories and The Blues Opera.

Conjuring the King is a little different.

To describe the play using Elvis Presley movies as descriptors, the experience is more of a Spinout than a Clambake.

Here’s the premise.

An Elvis Presley fan club is happening in Miami. You and fifteen others are invited. You are encouraged “to dress up, put on those blue-suede shoes, puff out that pompadour and prepare to live the Elvis Presley experience.”

Upon arrival they bring you into a tight room.

The fan club’s bee-hive wearing Secretary hypes you up, dons golden sunglasses on your head, a cape or a vest on your back, a door opens and into the play you enter.

At first, you enter the main room and instantly feel overwhelmed, even ecstatic. There is so much memorabilia and color. At least five hundred pieces of Elvis memorabilia.

The attention to detail is magnificent.

The set design is very much a character in this play. It will speak to you, reveal clues as to the world you are in, and help navigate this play’s core and purpose.

As you relish in the splendor in enters “Avery” the president of the Elvis fan club.

Conjuring the King (limited spoilers)

We do not want to spoil the experience.  But, we will say the following. The play loosely revolves around stimulating your senses, including a sixth sense. Like most immersive plays, the story involves several rooms.

This is also a one-woman play with different actors playing Avery.

To be fair, we saw the rendition starring June Raven Romero. We were told the performances are “different” due to the actors but the script is identical.

Conjuring some dark feelings

If you think this experience is about music and dancing and fandom, you’re wrong.

This is not even about Elvis Presley.

Conjuring the King is about obsession, fandom, compulsion and mental health. It’s dark and awkward, jarring and disturbing.  The “Avery” character is not well. She disassociates, speaks to inanimate photographs, sings a birthday song to a dead child, possesses an occultist cabinet of bizarre perfumes. There is a weird scene involving a mannequin reminiscent of Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” or Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Again, the attention to detail in the set design is so meticulous. It’s captivating. It is so easy to zone out of Avery’s narrative and zone into the story the set tells. Self-help books strewn about the room.  Scattered overdue bills in Avery’s name. A whiteboard with affirmations like “you are 100% healed.” A “2023-24” thought bubble manically trying to overcome this “Elvis” obsession. A “waitress of the month” award, fading in color, with Avery’s name.

Literally. The writing is on the wall.

There is no way to market this play as a fun, interactive, dance-off, sing-a-long, love Elvis fest. Yes. It’s all fun and games, till the mental health break takes over.

Conjuring the King is a beautifully weird and redemptive exploration of obsession and fandom. It will stay with you long after you leave.

Maybe not for the reasons you might have thought beforehand.

But any play that sticks with you, is a play that did its job and one worth seeing.



Written By Dipti Bramhandkar

Direction and Immersive Concept by Ana Margineanu


Susie K. Taylor and June Raven Romero

Performance Schedule

Wednesday & Thursday:  7:00pm Susie K. Taylor – 9:20pm June Raven Romero

Friday: 7:30pm Susie K. Taylor – 9:45pm June Raven Romero

Saturday: 7:30pm June Raven Romero – 9:45pm Susie K. Taylor

Sunday: 2:00pm June Raven Romero – 6:00pm Susie K. Taylor

The show is running now until April 28th.

For more info and tickets click here. 


by Scott McIntyre



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J.J. Colagrande

Has written about Miami culture for almost twenty years, first with The Miami Herald, then Miami New Times and Huffington Post. He's the publisher of The Jitney and a full-time professor.