Stage adaptions of cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants and hit teen comedy Mean Girls lead the Tony Award nominations for best musical.

The shows have 12 nods each and are joined by The Band's Visit, a romantic drama about eight Egyptian musicians, and Frozen, an adaption of the hit 2013 Disney film about a princess with magical powers.

US comedian Tina Fey adapted her 2004 film Mean Girls for the stage with her composer husband Jeff Richmond.

The story covers the high school life of the formerly home-schooled Cady Heron, who makes friends with the popular crowd known by outsiders as "The Plastics".

On hearing of the musical's nomination, Richmond said: "We're new to this whole Broadway thing and this whole musical thing, so it was hard to tell which way everything could swing. We're delighted."

The much-loved SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon has been adapted into a stage musical by American playwright Tina Landau.

In the show, SpongeBob emerges as the hero as his hometown Bikini Bottom faces a threat from a volcano.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has earned 11 nominations in the play category.

Image:Tina Fey, centre, with the cast of the Mean Girls musical

The two-part drama picks up 19 years on from where J.K. Rowling's last novel ended and portrays the spectacled wizard and his friends as grown-ups.

The show won nine Olivier Awards in London and has now crossed the Atlantic to Broadway in New York.

It is joined by The Children, Farinelli and the King, Junk, and Latin History for Morons in the best play category.

Denzel Washington has picked up a best male actor nomination for his role in Eugene O'Neill's epic The Iceman Cometh.

Washington scooped the award in 2010 for his role in Fences.

This time he is up against Andrew Garfield, who appeared in a revival of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Tom Hollander of Travesties, Jamie Parker of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Mark Rylance in Farinelli and the King.

American comedian Amy Schumer has won a best actress nomination for her debut on the stage in Steve Martin's comedy Meteor Shower,.

She is joined by Glenda Jackson from Three Tall Women, Condola Rashad in Saint Joan and Lauren Ridloff in Children of a Lesser God.

More from Entertainment

A British remake of Angels in America has grabbed 11 nominations for best revival of a play, and is joined by Lobby Hero, Three Tall Women, The Iceman Cometh, and Travesties in the category.

The 72nd Tony Awards ceremony will take place on 10 June.

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