A "Magical Space Voyage" is, in fact, located at the Sylvan Theatre on the Washington Monument grounds. But the 70-minute program, provided by the U.S. Navy Band in the 24th Annual Lollipops concert, is by no means confined to Washington.
Chief musician Chuck Yates wrote and arranged the "Voyage," which begins at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. It features space creatures, including a segment on aliens titled, "It's Not Easy Being Green." Yates, a writer/producer for 20 years, says the "Voyage" requires a number of elements: play segments, a large-screen slide show, the Sea Chanters singers, and a 65-piece concert band. The "Voyage" travels from Leonardo da Vinci to Charles Lindbergh to outer space for a scientific/educational segment. And in rock-concert tradition, a warmup band, the Navy's Port Authority, kicks off the program at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and so are the lollipops.
Most of the "Voyage" is guided by Argus, a 400-pound, 10-foot robot that is manually operated, says a spokesman, who adds that no other group offers a free children's event like "Lollipops": "This is not a military band concert where we come out and play John Philip Sousa and go home."