Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine establishes an elite rotation of the top 1 percent of medical students called “Top Gunner.” Troublemakers Maverick and Goose happen to slide into the rotation when students Cougar and Merlin fall out. Odds are against the mischievous pair as they try to gun their way to the top of their class.
So opens the action of “Top Gunner,” the theme for the medical school’s 33rd annual sketch comedy show In Vivo, which was held Friday and Saturday, January 13 and 14.
The show, which spoofed the characters and plot of the classic film Top Gun, followed Maverick (Tim Cooper, M2) and Goose (Matt Hire, M2) as they worked together to pass a series of tests to capture the coveted “Top Gunner” designation, but they always seemed to fall in second place behind their competition, Ice Maiden (Ana Alicia Agarrat, M2) and Slider (Ashima Singal, M2).
Maverick faces numerous obstacles in the race to the top, such as interpreting an x-ray as “a possible ostrich in the colon.” After a long day of classes, Maverick tries to seduce a hot redhead at a bar by singing “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling,” only to later find out that she is his TA, Charlie (Natalie Homer, M2). While this love interest complicates things, he also has to come to terms with his big ego, living up to his father’s reputation, and the dropout of his teammate Goose.
The ultimate test comes when this elite rotation is assigned to cover a shift at the hospital and hospital lawyers (Arvin Akhavan, M1 and Marysa Leya, M1) watch their every move. Disheartened by Goose’s absence, Maverick lets his peers go ahead while he stays behind. As the shift progresses, the team needs to call Maverick in to save the day, earning him the coveted top spot.
The cast also featured second-year students Mania Kupershtok, Matt Rowland, and Jasmine Rassiwala, and first-year students Patrick Sweeney, Audrey Sigmund, Mark Kavesh, Shirin Bajaj, and Paul Devlin.
In addition to the main story, In Vivo 2012 showcased student group DOCappella singing “Halo” by Beyoncé, juggling group the Jugulars poking fun at the competency compass, and the Dance Interest Group performing routines to songs such as “Everyday I’m Studyin,’” a take on hip hop group LMAFO’s “Sexy and I Know It” and “Party Rock Anthem.”
This year’s In Vivo also parodied Allstate commercials, promoting Gallstate insurance instead. It incorporated other pop culture spoofs, as well, such as “The Most Interesting Med Student in the World” and “Teach Me How to Study,” a hip hop music video based off of the hit song, “Teach me how to Dougie” by Cali Swag District.
The producers of In Vivo 2012 included second-year students Ali Habib, Caroline Minkus, Blake Randolph, and David Wang. They were supported by assistant producers, first-year students Frannie Rudolf, Aditya Kanesa-thasan, Danielle Chun, and Hannan Qureshi.
“In Vivo is something fun to look forward to, and making all your classmates laugh is a way to release stress,” said Minkus. “It is also a great way to meet students out of classes.”
Proceeds from this year’s In Vivo show went to the Dreamcatcher Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of Chicago’s young women through education, empowerment, and prevention of sexual exploitation.