Fitzi (The Street Dancers, 1991) is still ambivalent about a theatrical career, even in the midst of what looks like a dream come true: recovered from his stroke, her grandfather (Clement Dale, a gifted pro) has a fine small part in a new Broadway musical about a bunch of French kids who fly to Paris in a hot-air balloon, while her parents will be jugglers in the show. To her relief, Fitzi loses the lead to charismatic friend/rival Tiffany, but gets a solo dance (her real forte) and is Tiffany's understudy. Then Tiffany vanishes, kidnapped not by an obvious suspect--her father or a homeless man with a threatening fixation on the young star--but by a surprising third parson. By the time she's found, too distraught to return to the cast, Fitzi has gamely done her best to take her place; still, in a heartwarming conclusion, Fitzi uses what she knows about Tiffany's not entirely admirable character to trick her into returning to the role she does so well, and the play opens to rave reviews. Drawing on her own insider's experience, Hill presents an enthralling look at a theatrical production--its pressures, strong and varied personalities, vicissitudes (will the balloon ever fly?), and unexpected breaks (Clement isn't cut, as they have feared, but gets an extra song that turns out to be the show's highlight). An entertaining novel with lively characters, a suspenseful mystery, and a satisfying conclusion.