In today's Urban Planner: get your hockey fix with the Toronto Marlies, John Hastings starts a five-night stint at Yuk Yuk's, and Throne of Games at The Next Stage Theatre Festival.
SPORTS: Despite it being on many a wish list, Santa did not bring back the NHL. But that doesn’t mean we’re doomed to a winter without our national sport. Tonight, get a much-needed hockey fix via the American Hockey League, as the Toronto Marlies take on the Hamilton Bulldogs. Support rising stars, and get close to the action for a fraction of NHL ticket prices. Everyone wins! Ricoh Coliseum (100 Princes’ Boulevard), 7 p.m., $13.75–$49.75.
STAND-UP: Start the year off the right way: laughing, with stand-up comic John Hastings. Named one of five “comedians to watch” by the Canadian Comedy Network, he’s spent the last six months living in London, England, honing his craft. Expect amusing anecdotes about his adventures in the U.K., and his struggles to write humourous material for different cultures. Yuk Yuk’s Toronto (224 Richmond Street West), 8 p.m., $11.50 plus tax.
THEATRE: Fantasy and comedy collide in Throne of Games, an improv performance series based on George R. R. Martin’s series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire (which spawned HBO’s Game of Thrones). Join a cast of 23 comedians (including Alice Moran, one of our heroes of 2012) as they pay homage to Martin’s characters, settings, and plots. Their hilarious narrative will unfold over nine serialized chapters throughout The Next Stage Theatre Festival. Factory Theatre Mainspace (125 Bathurst Street), 9:15 p.m., $12.
Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to firstname.lastname@example.org.