The digital version of the 2014-15 Explore Greater Rochester is now available! To access it, click on the image above. 


BEST BETS: Sept. 19 to 25, 2014

Opener for new conductor

The Rochester The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Philharmonics Series begins with new music director Ward Stare conducting Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and Berlioz's "Beatrice and Benedict" Overture. Violinist Midori joins the RPO for Brahms' Violin Concerto. Stare, a Pittsford native, became the RPO's 12th music director in 91 years. Visit rpo.org.

Rochester Marathon
The MVP Health Care Rochester Marathon is Sunday. Participants can register for a full marathon, half-marathon or marathon relay. Registration closes at 6 a.m. Sunday. The MVP Health Care Rochester Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier. The runners for the full marathon will be staged on the bridge on Andrews Street. You can also find the race routes if you're more interested in cheering on participants than in running yourself. Go to rochestermarathon.com.

Amy Schumer at Auditorium Theatre
Comedian Amy Schumer takes the stage Saturday at Rochester's Auditorium Theatre. Schumer is the creator, star, writer and executive producer of "Inside Amy Schumer," the popular Emmy-nominated Comedy Central TV series. Schumer also is slated to star in the upcoming film "Trainwreck," the new Judd Apatow film she wrote. It comes out next summer. "Last Comic Standing" fans will remember Schumer from a few years ago. Go to ticketmaster.com.

On the big screen
"A Walk Among the Tombstones" stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. "The Maze Runner" is a sci-fi film about a young man who wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys. He has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. "This is Where I Leave You" is about four grown siblings forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Rose Byrne star. Find movie times.

Celebrate Zoo's elephants
Elephant Awareness Day is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Seneca Park Zoo. The keeper staff and volunteer educators will spend the day sharing information about African elephants Genny C and Lilac. Also planned is a watermelon eating contest and a giveaway of an original painting created by Genny C and Lilac. For details, visit senecaparkzoo.org.

Yo-yo contest at Strong Museum
Some of the best yo-yo competitors in the world will show off their skills 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Strong National Museum of Play. The New York State Yo-Yo Contest brings 75 yo-yo slingers to dazzle museum guests with freestyle routines and tricks such as sleeping string, double yo-yo looping, double yo-yo string, offstring yo-yo and counterbalance. The state contest is open to competitors from around the world, from beginners to former champions. Visit nystateyoyo.com to register or museumofplay.org for event details.

Rochester Fringe Festival kicks off
The Rochester Fringe Festival is underway, with more than 380 events planned at a variety of locations, and many of them are free. It kicked off its 10-day run today. Highlights include Canada's Circus Orange Friday, a Silent Disco, Brownbag Disco and "Spoon River," a haunting collection of 244 free-form poems and epitaphs of deceased citizens of a fictional small town. There are also, of course, plays, musicals, stand-up comedy, spoken-word performances, bands, acrobatics, dance and interactive art. "SNL" star Jay Pharoah (pictured) takes the stage for two shows Saturday (one is sold out; tickets remain for the second). The festival is in its third year. Go to rochesterfringe.com.

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