Call me sexist, but I was excited to see Catnip at Piccolo Fringe because they’re an all-female troupe. Too often, funny ladies don’t get the respect the deserve, and I looked forward to witnessing some estrogen-fueled inprov. But alas, the airport gods were not on their side; two of Catnip’s members missed their connecting flights from L.A., leaving only two to perform at the opening night of Piccolo Fringe.

Luckily, some friends were standing by to step in — and they just happened to be guys. Frank Caeti (of Frankenmatt, who performed after Catnip at Theatre 99) and Joe (a guy they “found in the parking lot”) became Catnippers for the night.

So it feels a bit wrong to review the group when it wasn’t really the group performing. But that’s the nature of improv comedy, right? You have to be ready for anything.

Catnip founder Rebecca Sage Allen and member Molly Erdman (recognizable from Sonic commercials) repped their group well, with skits involving a desperate Mary Kay saleswoman, a spaceship threatened by Scorpios, and a nasty mole made of Oreos.

While the gals were smart and funny, they were overtaken by the guys much of the time, particularly Caeti. A scene where Joe provided the voice-over for Caeti was one of the best of the night.

Understandably, the chemistry just wasn’t there in a group that was thrown together at the last minute. We can also assume they were jet lagged and running on little sleep (Caeti admitted to as much). And while the hard-nosed critic in me didn’t want to take any excuses, the other half still wants to go back and check out Catnip tomorrow night, when they’re actually Catnip

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