Astaire's widow had previously granted the awards show the right to the Astaire name, but revoked her approval in 2006 due to a change in the "nature and character" of the event, according to the Times. The Astaire Awards are now in their 28th year and recognize outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway and in film each season.
The complaint seeks an injunction for the impending awards ceremony and files for damages of $275,000 or more. Proceeds from the June 7 benefit were to benefit Career Transition for Dancers, which has removed itself from the proceedings following the injunction.
Representatives for the Astaire Awards declined to comment on the matter.
Tony Award winner Ben Vereen is set to host the event that will take place at 7:30 PM in the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. Emmy Award-winning "High School Musical" director and choreographer Kenny Ortega will be presented with the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award.
Broadway veteran Lee Roy Reams will direct the evening that will feature performances by singer Robin Cofer, Evidence Dance Company and a tribute to both Ortega and Reams. Reams will perform with dancers who once performed with Fred Astaire.