Is smoking allowed in the seating at the Cistern? I sat two rows behind a few rowdies who lit up. And I wondered. A pack of noisy European visitors practically ignored René Marie during most of her Friday night concert (May 25) while they chatted, giggled loudly, drank, took digital pictures of each other in the seats, and smoked cigarellos. Distracting? Refreshing? Authentically European? Not quite sure.

Years ago, I attended an Umbria Jazz Festival outdoor event in Italy (electric guitarist Mike Stern and his band) where the audinece brought their own jugs of wine and booze, food, and cigs. They chatted and laughed and danced during the show, which didn’t seem inappropriate. At the serene scene of the Cistern where most of the attendees are seated quietly at total attention, it seems a bit much. Just a thought.