God's dancefloor reactivated
There are many points of entries to soul and gospel phenomenon Candi Staton: In the '60s and early '70s, she gave Tina Turner a run for her money with 16 classic r&b hits"Stand by Your Man," "I'd Rather Be an Old Man's Sweetheart (Than a Young One's Fool)," "In the Ghetto," "Sweet Feeling"and was crowned with the title First Lady of Southern Soul. In the '80s, after the hits (and a brief alcohol dependency) dried up, Staton forged a successful gospel careershe coined the term gospco to describe her innovative, funky, bassline-thumpin' devotional jams. (She even had a nine-year-running gospel TV show on the TBN network.) More recently she's been known as the pipes behind the Sex and the City closing song, "You Got the Love." Tonight's a rare NYC appearance celebrating her new double-disc album The Ultimate Gospel Collection (Shanachie Records). Allegedly, and hopefully, she'll be belting some of her early soul work as well. At 8, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111; Saturday at 9:30, Maxwell's, 1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, 201-653-1703 D. SHAWN BOSLER
Flamenco succumbs to the stirrings of the imagination
The temperature will hit boiling point when the rapid-fire footwork and passionate stamping of flamenco artist Edwin Aparicio hits the stage at Symphony Space. The lean, fluid dancer is the artistic director and lead of Entresueño ("Dream State"), a performance "exploring the frontier of consciousness, where memories blur and mix with imagination, and realities give way to dream." Along with a cast of dancers, guitarists, and singers, he makes the transition from awareness to sleepprepare to have all your senses awakened. At 7:30, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 212-864-5400, symphony space.org, $25, $32, $40 GRACE BASTIDAS
'If you can't laugh at the government, you're lost" says Jason Grossman, coordinating producer of Laughing Liberally, a political comedy show that takes swift jabs at our current administration. After debuting to a crowd of 1,300 at Town Hall this past February, the skewer-fest has since traveled to California and back. Tonight, the show continues its weekly run in New York with a lineup that includes the sharp-tongued Jim David of Comedy Central Presents; Air America commentator Scott Blakeman; Leighann Lord, a Premium Blend regular and winner of the New York City Black Comedy Award for "Most Thought-Provoking Female Comic"; and Elizabeth June, a crowd favorite at Carolines comedy club. "But it goes beyond just Bush bashing," explains Grossman. "At the same time we're trying to open people's eyes." The program also features short films and musicall laced with plenty of "blue humor," of course. And Grossman promises, "By the end of each show, there's a sense of hopethat we can take control and make changes." At 8, every Monday through August 28, 45th Street Theatre, 354 West 45th Street, 800-838-3006, $15$30 KEN SWITZER
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