By Daryl H. Miller/Contact Reporter – – Photo Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times –

He holds out the sleek, black fedora for closer inspection. It is at once reserved and dandyish, with a brim that sweeps up in back into what look like vintage Cadillac tail fins. Tucked into its matching ebony band is a little explosion of color: a gray-green and red feather.

By essentially living in this custom-made beauty, Bichir stays constantly connected to El Pachuco, the impeccably dressed host, narrator and mythic zoot suiter he portrays in Luis Valdez’s play about Mexican American devotees of zoot suit style who were arrested and tried en masse after a 1942 Los Angeles killing.

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