Benjamin R. Freed leads off this week’s arts section with a look at the D.C. film office and whether the local filmmakers’ outrage over the appointment of Crystal Palmer to lead the agency was worth the fuss. Michael J. West reports on the U Street NW restaurant U-Topia’s firing of its Wednesday-night jazz act, the Bobby Muncy Quartet (file under: How not to fire your jazz band). Jeffry Cudlin reviews the Phillips Collection’s “Philip Guston: Roma” show, which he says sheds light on many of the artist’s central problems and strengths. Bob Mondello reviews Woolly Mammoth’s update of the Oedipus tale, Oedipus El Ray, which is set in L.A. barrios and prisons. Tricia Olszewski checks out a 97-minute film by a 102-year-old director, Manoel de Oliveira’s The Strange Case of Angelica. Geoffrey Himes reviews two new 50th-anniversary releases from the roots label Arhoolie, while David Dunlap Jr. has fun with the youthful, messy debut of indie-rockers Yuck. And in One Track Mind, Mike West talks to the Kevin Pace Trio about a drumless bebop tribute.
Bonus! In this week’s Cheap Seats column, David McKenna tells the unlikely tale of how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar helped a local basketball legend hear the music of his jazz-legend father for the first time.