Best bets

The Gumboots

All's wellies

Their boots are made for dancin', make no mistake. Meet wellies-clad Gumboots and Real Actions Pantsula, the two young troupes comprising the internationally touring Festival of South African Dance headed to the U of I Krannert Center in Urbana at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Two of the country's national dance forms will be on full airborne display: "isicathulo," aka gumboot, which began as a form of resistance by black miners, and "pantsula," born of the street culture of South Africa's black townships. 

A flask of comedy

One of the IWU School of Theatre's best-kept secrets are the experimental goings-on in the Lab ... specifically, the E. Melba Johnson Kirkpatrick Laboratory Theatre series, which concocts a production for three nights only each semester in the tiny space. This fall's offering is Ali Taylor's Fault Lines, a dark comedy about a disaster charity trying to say afloat as its bickering, hung-over employees are faced — post-office Christmas party — with news of a massive earthquake in Pakistan. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets? A mere $2 for students and $3 for the rest of us.

Fall's last calls

Bringing up the autumnal rear this weekend are the last full-blown, non-Halloween fall fests for ’17. So if you managed to forget about, or just skip, all the others, don't dare miss: New Salem State Historic Site's Fall Festival, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with re-enactments of the historic village prepping for an 1830s winter; and the Rock Springs Center's Fall Harvest Festival, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Decatur nature preserve, with pumpkin rolls, a straw maze, wagon rides and more.

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