The Washington Post critics choose their favorite shows of the week. CLASSICAL MUSIC

Hugh Wolff will conduct the National Symphony, the men of the Oratorio Society and soloists this week in Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex" and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Other orchestral events this week will include a concert by the Seoul Philharmonic, tonight at the Kennedy Center, and the DAR Pops Concert, conducted by Richard Weilenmann, Tuesday night at Constitution Hall.

Cellist Evelyn Elsing will be the featured performer today in the Phillips Collection's festival of Washington musicians.

Also worth noting: The Gloriana Singers today in the Terrace Theater; pianist Caio Pagano in a program of Brazilian music tomorrow night in the Terrace Theater; the Smithsonian Chamber Players in a program of French baroque music, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the Hall of Musical Instruments; the Schubert Octet in a free lunch-hour concert Thursday at the Western Presbyterian Church; pianist Menahem Pressler, Thursday night at Baird Auditorium; the Meliora Quartet, Friday night at the Corcoran Gallery; the Emerson String Quartet, Saturday night at the Renwick Gallery; pianist Meral Guneyman, tonight at the National Gallery; the Capitol Woodwind Quintet, with pianist Andrew Litton, this afternoon at Dumbarton Methodist Church. DANCE

The Center Dance Ensemble presents two premieres by artistic director Frances Cohen, as well as works by Alvin Mayes and Daniel West, at the Jewish Community Center tonight. Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company offer the premiere of "State of the Art," with original music by Michael Willis, at the Marvin Theatre Thursday through Saturday. The Duke Ellington School of the Arts presents its annual Spring Dance Concert, featuring works by Ellington faculty and Mike Malone, at the school's recently rebuilt Ellington Theatre, Friday and Saturday evenings. Dance Project founder Jan Van Dyke and a New York troupe, HarBorn Mix, present a joint concert in Mount Vernon College's "Spring Moves '86" festival Saturday and Sunday nights in Hand Chapel. FILM

Mike Nichols, director of the upcoming "Heartburn," will appear Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the American Film Institute in conjunction with the screening of his film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," as part of the AFI's continuing tribute to the Directors Guild.

And Tuesday Lillian Gish, one of the greatest actresses of the silent era, will appear at the Smithsonian to kick off the "Three Generations of Great Hollywood Actresses" series. The program includes a reel of scenes from her career and an interview on stage by Richard Brown of the New School. Saturday, Gish's "Way Down East," directed by D.W. Griffith, will be shown at the Natural History building with a nine-piece chamber ensemble performing the score.

The American Satire series continues at the Library of Congress' Mary Pickford Theater with "The President Vanishes," a satire of the presidency directed by William Wellman (Monday), and "Rancho Deluxe," a comedy based in the Old/New West, written by Tom McGuane (Friday).

And Friday, the Biograph will open Jean-Luc Godard's "Hail Mary," a must for anyone who is serious about cinema or, for that matter, religion. POP MUSIC

Punk survivors Siouxsie and the Banshees, who have managed to remain uncompromised and still musically intriguing, are at the Warner tomorrow.

Martin Hadden of Silly Wizard joins Jane Rothfield and Allan Carr in a program of Scottish and American music at the Takoma Cafe tomorrow.

Quilapayun, the acclaimed Chilean folk ensemble, comes to Washington for the first time in six years, Wednesday at Lisner.

The Del Lords mix up country and rockabilly, emerging with a punchy twang that's all down to business. At the Bayou on Wednesday.

Bleizi Ruz is the top folk band in Brittany, and it'll showcase lively dance rhythms, haunting ballads and virtuoso playing on the bombarde and biniou (folk oboe, bagpipes) at the Department of Commerce's Hoover Auditorium on Friday.

Tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, whose impressive improvising style is as rooted in Texas blues as in the vanguard, brings his quintet to d.c. space on Saturday. THEATER

For a big, splashy show-business musical, Michael Bennett's production of "Dreamgirls" (at the National Theatre) fits the bill. "Christmas on Mars" (at the Woolly Mammoth) is the equivalent of a mad bobsled ride. Playwright Harry Kondoleon skewers the multiple neuroses of four urban residents, trying to make a nest out of an empty apartment. Both funny and painful, this is the most original offering in town right now and Woolly Mammoth serves it up with farcical zest.