Indigenous Plays Moondog’s. ‘Orphans’ Continues at Aftershock Theatre; Little Lake Staging ‘Arcadia’ (Thurs., 6/14/18)

1) The story of blues-rock outfit Indigenous is really the story of frontman Mato Nanji (Ma-TOE NON-gee), who was born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation of South Dakota. A second-generation rocker, Nanji formed Indigenous in his teens with his brother, sister, and cousin—a lineup that lead to an award-winning debut in 1998 and an invite to join B.B. King’s Blues Tour in 1999. The family would stick together through four more releases before splitting in 2006. Nanji found even more success on his own as songs from his solo album Chasing the Sun, released under the Indigenous name, wound up on the soundtracks of “Deadliest Catch” and “Sons of Anarchy.” It was also the No. 2 Billboard Blues Album of 2006. Nanji has been a member of the Experience Hendrix Tour since 2002. He plays a mean version of Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” As Indigenous, Nanji currently tours with Levi Platero (guitar), Bronson Begay (bass), and Douglas Platero (percussion). The band’s latest release is 2017’s Gray Skies, an album of bootlegs and rarities. Catch Indigenous at Moondogs. 7:30 p.m. 378 Freeport Rd., Blawnox. 

Big brother Treat (Max Pavel, R) lives outside the law, but at home, he lays it down ferociously. 'Orphans' photo: Nicolette Kalafatis.

Big brother Treat (Max Pavel, R) lives outside the law, but at home, he lays it down ferociously. ‘Orphans’ photo: Nicolette Kalafatis.

2)  Aftershock, a new performance space in Lawrenceville, catapults into summer by hosting a major production of a modern classic. The play is Lyle Kessler’s tragicomedy Orphans. Set in a down-and-out part of North Philly, it’s about two orphaned brothers who live by petty thievery. One brother tries to turn their fortunes by kidnapping a big-time crook, but the guy turns the tables on the young men, and shocking life lessons ensue. Orphans is described as wickedly funny and very moving. It premiered in 1983, was made into a 1987 movie starring Albert Finney, and has been played on stage internationally. The production at Aftershock is put together by a top-notch team of local theater artists. Actor Ken Bolden plays the senior crook, with Dylan Marquis Meyers and Max Pavel as the brothers. The director is Ingrid Sonnichsen, who recently did the knockout Byhalia, Mississippi at off the WALL. And consulting on Orphans is Cotter Smith of Netflix’s “Mindhunter,” who recently moved to Pittsburgh because he likes it here. 8 p.m. Runs through June 23. See our review.  Reserve online for Orphans at Aftershock. 115 57th St., Lawrenceville. (MV)

3) Nobody has more fun with serious intellectual stuff than British playwright Tom Stoppard. His many plays over the years have included Jumpers—a comedy about philosophy professors who are forced to practice gymnastics—and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the hypothetical inside story of two minor characters who get offed in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Now Little Lake Theatre is performing what many consider to be Stoppard’s masterpiece, Arcadia. This is a comedy-slash-mystery concerning two subjects of universal interest: science and sex. Arcadia time-travels between the early 1800s and the present. History and mathematics also figure prominently in Arcadia, as do Lord Byron, a duel, and a large tortoise. You’ll be sorry if you miss it. 8 p.m. Performance continue through June 16. 500 Lakeside Dr. South, Canonsburg. (MV)