Passing down one Baker family heirloom means letting go of 32 characters, more than 14 years of dedication and one twist on a Christmas tradition.
Douglas Baker, theater professor at the College of Southern Nevada, adapted Charles Dickens' book "A Christmas Carol" into the one-man, three-unmatched-chair production "One Christmas Carol."
For 13 years, Douglas portrayed 32 voices on a simple set and found success and returning audiences in Las Vegas.
About two years ago, he gifted the production -- rights and all -- to his son, Kellan Baker. The 26-year-old actor and Las Vegas Academy alumnus will debut his take at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at CSN's BackStage Theatre.
This holiday season, two of Douglas' four sons will take the stage in his production. His youngest son, Max, is slated to perform it in Japan later this month.
In their youth, the Baker sons attended each of their father's "One Christmas Carol" productions, Douglas said. Despite 40-plus viewings, a mark was made, Kellan said.
"It was such a daunting task and something I admired about my father," he said. "When it was my opportunity, I jumped on it."
Interpretations of Dickens' piece abound, Douglas said, but he wanted to delve deeper.
"You don't write Dickens; you segue Dickens," he said. "It's a character study in 34 characters. One actor plays them, so it's really master storytelling. The goal, at the time, was to 'physicalize' and characterize the characters and find the differences between them."
The actor moves about three unmatched chairs, and the audience is "left to visualize it themselves," Douglas said.
Toward his decade mark in the role, Douglas decided to give the play to Kellan for Christmas.
The men shared passion for acting -- as well as parts in Tournament of Kings-Las Vegas -- and Douglas said he looked forward to his son's take on his words.
"It was important to me he make it his and not my interpretation," Douglas said.
Kellan did just that. He tweaked the script, changed the character lineup and tested his play on CSN audiences last year.
The performances were well received, he said, and they boosted his confidence for this weekend's run.
"If I do half as well as I felt last year, I will be happy," he said.
One set of important eyes will be present at each of his shows this weekend. Douglas plans to help with the show's audio.
Although the tale behind "One Christmas Carol" is one of tradition and family, Kellan said he hopes its indirect message grabs audiences.
"Take away the set and the costumes and the ego of the actors and sit and listen to a story for a while," he said. "It doesn't make the story any less entertaining or any more boring. It's -- in my opinion -- the purest form of art."
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors with a valid ID and can be purchased by calling 651-5483 or visiting the CSN Performing Arts Center, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave. BackStage Theatre is a 100-seat venue.
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 477-3839.