"It was terrific," he says of Jen's performance, and The New York Times agrees

By Paul Chi
November 02, 2007 07:15 AM
Paul Hawthorne/Startraks; Peter Kramer/Getty

So how did Jennifer Garner feel after making her Broadway debut Thursday night?

“I’m ready for a glass of wine!” she said while making her way into the Cyrano de Bergerac opening night party. “I’m just happy that I stayed on my feet and said everything that I was suppose to say.”

She sure did. The Big Ben of Broadway – New York Times critic Ben Brantley – called the production “surprisingly potent,” star Kevin Kline “artfully low-key” and Garner “captivating” in her demanding role as the love interest Roxane.

“Ms. Garner, I am pleased to report, makes Roxane a girl worth pining over,” he writes in his review Friday morning.

Despite the critical love letter, Garner, 35, vowed she would not be reading the play’s notices. “I’m not going to look at [them],” she told PEOPLE. “No. I can’t stand it.”

Then there was the review from the other Ben – Garner’s husband, Ben Affleck. “She did fine!” he declared. “It was terrific, and I had a lot of fun.”

Of Garner’s performance (which consists of rhyming couplets), Affleck, also 35, said, “I’m really impressed by her courage and her talent.” Having now seen her in the role a few times, Affleck also says Garner “keeps impressing me, and I keep on loving it.”

And although the Great White Way could not be farther from Garner’s first job in the theater – “making the costumes and scrubbing the toilets” at an Illinois playhouse – the former Alias sounds perfectly grounded.

“You know, I’m a mom,” Garner, referring to 1-year-old daughter Violet, said at the party. “So I’ll be here for about 15 more minutes, and then I’m going home.”