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The Polar Bare features in Jim R. Moore's pictorial paean to the stars of today’s circus, sideshow, burlesque, and new vaudeville scenes. In these 282 pages you will find the world’s most eccentric extended family: clowns, acrobats, thespians, musicians, contortionists, jugglers, puppeteers, ventriloquists, daredevils, aerialists, opera singers, drag stars, monologists, impresarios, magicians, impressionists, fire-eaters, nuts, and acts of the sort we still don’t have any polite name for. Taken between 2010 and 2020, the book captures such latter day performing giants as Lawrence Pisoni (founder of the legendary Pickle Family Circus), Circus Amok’s “Woman with a Beard” Jennifer Miller, bouffon artist Red Bastard, drag king Murray Hill, sideshow star Todd Robbins, Tom Murrin (a.k.a. The Alien Comic), Avner the Eccentric, burlesque queens like Julie Atlas Muz and the Wau Wau Sisters, and performance artists like Penny Arcade and Reno. 

Photographer: Jim R. Moore

Essays: John Towsen, Pat Oleszko, Michael Smith, Paul Zaloom

Vaudevisuals Press (2022)

ISBN-10: ‎ 173720360X

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1737203605


The first volume to inclusively document burlesque costume from its birth in the 1860’s through the global burlesque movement in 2018. This lushly illustrated book presents the history and development of this American art form by documenting the origins, influencers, and genuine articles that created its aesthetic. Showcases of legendary performers, including Lydia Thompson, Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand, Bettie Page, Kitten Natividad, and Dita Von Teese, demonstrate costume styles through the years. A full page color photograph of the Polar Bare by David L. Byrd is included among these pages, with polar bear costume by Juanita Cardenas and trainer costume by Garo Sparo.

Author: Coleen Scott


Routledge (2019)

ISBN-13: 978-1138742253 / ISBN-10: 1138742252 (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 978-1138742260 / ISBN-10: 1138742260 (Paperback)

Hovey was profiled upon his 2017 retirement from New York University (NYU) in the Life's Work Dept. section of the New Yorker magazine. The article is notable as it documents the end of his chapter as master teacher and the beginning of his new career as a performer with the Polar Bare act.

"N.Y.U.’s legendary circus instructor, who taught Debra Messing and Mahershala Ali to juggle, retires after a hundred semesters."

Author: Nick Paumgarten


December 25, 2017 (online)

January 1, 2018 (print edition)


"A sophisticated volume encompassing many facts of history, theory, exceptional or record-breaking feats, and personal know-how gleaned from years of teaching and performing."


– Frank Dean, International Jugglers Association


Author: Hovey Burgess


Note: the first two chapters of the Kindle edition (2010) are available free online.

Drama Book Specialists (1976)

ISBN-10: 0910482713 / ISBN-13: 978-0910482714 (Hardcover)

ISBN 10: 0910482721 ISBN 13: 9780910482721 (Paperback)


Thomas Y. Crowell Company (1977)

ISBN 10: 0690014635 /  ISBN 13: 9780690014631 (Hardcover)

ISBN-10: 0690014643 / ISBN-13: 978-0690014648 (Paperback)

Brian Dubé, Inc. (1983/1990)

ISBN-10: 0917643062 / ISBN-13: 978-0917643064 (Paperback)

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