How do you make a Victor Hugo penned 1862 masterpiece turned international musical box-office classic more Victor Hugo like? How about using re-imagined scenery based on Hugo’s own paintings with the some modern projection for starters. That is only one of several reasons the 25th anniversary Cameron MacKintosh production of Les Misérables performed at the Playhouse Square’s Palace as a part of the Key Bank Broadway Series is simply brilliant. Even in the five years since it last was staged at The Allen Theatre, the play has seemingly gotten younger with updates. As much as the renovated musical came across aptly as an uplifting story of the human spirit, it was lifted yet higher as cast and crew created a balance between the classic old-style play with the some technological twists to the Parisian passion-laden play. What made the revamped version capable of near perfection was the performances by a well-travelled, veteran cast, longtime Broadway Les Mis music director Robert Billig and even makeup changes which aged key performers throughout the tale which dare I say improved on the original. Who says a masterpiece cannot be re-mastered? The play which opened April 5 for a 12-day run as the “new version’s Cleveland debut, captivated and kept its audience spellbound. While the entire ensemble seemed to feed off each other in acting, presentation and vocal skills, it was the lead of Ron Sharpe who was most flawless in his portrayal as the tormented and torn Jean Naljean. He was more than believeable in his fight for redemption and recovery of his dearly deceased daughter Fantine’s daughter Cosette. He, with able cast, took the performance on this night to new heights. Other notable performances on stage were delivered by the John Rapson who skillfully played Bamatabois to his most convincing, conniving, beautifully-flawed self. His counter and accomplice Madame Thénardier was no slouch, played by Shawna Hamic. The entire cast was more than up to the task of making this a true classic musical the likes of which only a Les Mis performance is expected. The Boublil and Schönberg’s production, music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, direction by Laurence Connor and James Powell, design by Matt Kinley, and costuming, staging and lighting crew provided the outlines of a great show. It was from there the cast brought home a stellar performance laced with the raw and honest emotions of the street-wise inhabitants. Moments like the solitary Valjean scene with vortex-like Whirlpool of My Sin backdrop and the exit off the US bridge of Javert seemingly, falling endlessly, gave a a surreal visual vastness and drama to the age-old tale. The set design was also enhanced by the Pro Towers the appeared and reappeared throughout the two acts. From start to finish the play had no weak links. The only drawback may have been the uneven balance of top-heaviness of Act One versus the more brief barricade-based Act Two. This small scheduling pendulum did not stop the performance from taking Misérables and making it magnificent.